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Will Smith has resigned from the Academy over Chris Rock slap backlash

Will Smith apologized for his actions during the Oscars

SHARE Will Smith has resigned from the Academy over Chris Rock slap backlash
Will Smith cries at the Oscars,

Will Smith cries as he accepts the award for best performance by an actor in a leading role for “King Richard” at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Chris Pizzello, Associated Press

Actor Will Smith officially resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences Friday due to the ongoing backlash from the Chris Rock slap at this year’s Oscars, Variety reports.

What he said: “The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home,” Smith said, per Variety.

  • “I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken.”
  • “I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film.”

Catch up quick: At the 2022 Academy Awards, comedian Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s buzzcut, saying he was excited to see “G.I. Jane 2.”

  • Pinkett Smith “suffers from the autoimmune disorder alopecia, which attacks hair follicles resulting in bald spots and hair loss,” per People magazine.
  • Smith — who originally laughed at the joke — marched on stage and slapped Rock across the face.
  • After he returned to his seat, Smith yelled out, “Keep my wife’s name out of your (expletive) mouth.”
  • Smith went on to win the best actor award that night.

The bigger picture: The Academy condemned Smith for his action in the immediate aftermath of the slap, saying it would investigate the matter, as I reported for the Deseret News.

What they said: “The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show. We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law,” the Academy said, per Deadline.