Will Smith Is Pending Investigation Following Resignation From the Academy

After Will Smith slapped Chris Rock and caused a ruckus that was spotlighted across the world, the actor has officially announced he will be resigning from the Academy.

The decision comes amidst Smith’s gravest career crisis, as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences grasps how best to deal with the situation. In a statement, the actor reveals that he is willing to accept all responsibility and consequences of his action deemed by the Academy’s Board of Governors. In response to his resignation, Academy president David Rubin has said in a statement, “We have received and accepted Mr. Will Smith’s immediate resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. We will continue to move forward with our disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, in advance of our next scheduled board meeting on April 18.”

Conversations surrounding whether or not Smith should have his Oscars revoked have been causing a buzz within the industry, however no official decision has been made yet. Variety recently reported that Smith was never asked to formally leave the auditorium after the incident and that producer Will Packer urged him to stay. The issue brings up a tangled narrative that sees the world divided, as some are sympathetic to Smith as his actions were fueled by being his wife’s protector over a nasty joke, while others condemn any form of physical harassment.

Disciplinary actions would have included suspension or expulsion, but since Smith has withdrawn from the Academy, the organization must now determine other potential consequences. Read Will Smith’s full statement below:

“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.

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.

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. Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”

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