Under disciplinary proceedings initiated by the Academy of Oscars, actor Will Smith, who violently slapped Chris Rock on stage during the 94th Academy Awards, has tendered his resignation from the Academy.
Oscars 2022: a historic scandal
This Sunday, March 27, 2022, was to be one of the best days of his career and his life. It was missed and in large widths. If Will Smith received Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in The Williams Method it is especially illustrated by slapping Chris Rock a few minutes before, in response to a joke from the comedian on the bald head of his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffering from alopecia. A gesture broadcast live, all over the world, caused bewilderment and indignation of a majority of film professionals, as well as the public.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences had, as of March 30, engaged in a disciplinary procedure and informed Will Smith that he had fifteen days to respond to his attitude, which violated the rules of conduct imposed by the organization, of which the actor has been a member since 2001. But Will Smith, presumably wishing to put an end to it as soon as possible to scandal, took the lead in resigning on his own.
Will Smith: “My actions at the ceremony were shocking, painful, and inexcusable.”
It is in a press release, sent to Deadline, that Will Smith made the announcement of his resignation. A long message in which he says he is “heartbroken” and well aware of the consequences of his actions. If there was no question of withdrawing his Oscar, which has never happened to other excluded, the most famous being Harvey Weinstein and Roman Polanski, Will Smith could expect to be suspended from the Academy for a long period or even be permanently expelled. The resignation of Will Smith, in a way, thus exonerates the Academy from a unilateral decision.
I have responded directly to the Academy’s Disciplinary Procedure Notice, and will accept all consequences of my conduct. My actions at the 94th Academy Awards were shocking, painful, and inexcusable. The list of people I’ve hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my friends and relatives, everyone in the audience, and viewers. I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived the other nominees and winners of the opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. My heart is broken. I now want to focus on those who deserve recognition for their achievements and allow the Academy to return to its incredible work of supporting creativity and artistry in film. So, I resign from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and I will accept any future consequences that its leadership deems appropriate.
Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work necessary to never again let violence take precedence over reason.
The Academy of Oscars should officially decide on April 18, and perhaps this resignation of Will Smith will allow a declaration and more peaceful decisions. The actor obviously wants the way out of the crisis to be made as high as possible.
For his part, Chris Rock has already made a brief allusion to the slap but has not yet “officially” expressed himself on the subject. If the resignation of Will Smith is the first sign of enlightenment, the situation is however not yet brought to an end.