Will Smith has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences five days after slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars. The slap was a reaction to Rock making a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Smith’s publicist shared a statement from Smith, which said, among other things, “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. 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… So, I am resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate.”
Will Smith Ruins Oscars
Smith’s shocking slap was a reaction to Rock making a joke regarding Jada Pinkett’s hair loss due to the autoimmune disease alopecia. The I Am Legend star appeared to laugh initially before walking onto the stage, slapping Rock across the face, and telling the comedian, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.” A visibly surprised Rock then presented the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature to Summer of Soul. However, one of the documentary’s producers, Joseph Patel, felt Smith’s actions ruined what should have been a moment of celebration. However, Patel also felt dishonored by Rock, who announced the winners as “four white guys.”
Many felt Smith put a damper on all the remaining wins, including his win for Best Actor in King Richard. Some are calling for the Academy to take his Oscar back.
Academy Outraged at Will Smith
The Academy has expressed outrage regarding Smith’s actions. Academy President David Rubin has said that disciplinary proceedings will continue in advance of the Academy’s next board meeting on April 18.
Did Will Smith do the right thing by resigning from the Academy? What further consequences should Smith face? Share your thoughts on The Nerd Stash Facebook page and @TheNerdStash on Twitter.