Will Smith has released a statement amongst his “disciplinary proceedings” after slapping Chris Rock during the 2022 Academy Awards. The slap heard around the world has resulted in everything from global backlash against the actor, to support for Rock, and even discussions around what it means to protect black women.
Smith announced on Friday (April 1) that he will resign from The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
“I have directly responded to The Academy‘s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct. My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable. 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.
“I betrayed the trust of The Academy,” he continued. “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.”
The infamous slap has led many to question why Smith wasn’t immediately removed from the venue. Fans are upset that Questlove’s documentary “Summers of Soul” didn’t get the attention it deserved after the incident. Wanda Sykes, who co-hosted the show, has expressed her shock at the outburst and claimed that she is now traumatized to take the stage.
Oscars producer Will Packer employed the first ever all-black production staff for the show. The legendary producer sat down for an interview with Good Morning America earlier this week to share his thoughts.
He shared that The Academy tried to physically remove Smith following his altercation. The LAPD intervened and defined the situation as battery. However, Packer refused to enforce the removal because it’s not what Rock wanted. The Think Like A Man producer gave credit to Rock for handling the situation with “grace.”
Rock has declined to press charges against his Madagascar co-star.