Will Smith Resigns From Film Academy Over Oscars Slap, Issues Extensive Apology

The actor described his on-stage assault of Chris Rock at the Academy Awards as "shocking, painful and inexcusable."

Actor Will Smith issued a second apology Friday for slapping comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars, saying he would resign his membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

In a lengthy statement, the actor said his actions during the Oscars on Sunday were “shocking, painful and inexcusable,” and he was prepared to “accept any further consequences” that the academy’s board of governors “deems appropriate.”

“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,” Smith said, adding that he is “committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”

During the Oscars ceremony, Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, having a shaved head. Pinkett Smith has spoken publicly about her struggles with alopecia. Smith then walked on stage and struck Rock across the face. After he returned to his seat, he shouted, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”

Later that evening, during a tearful acceptance speech for his award for lead actor in “King Richard,” a movie about Venus and Serena Williams’ family, Smith apologized, but not to Rock. The next day, he issued a public apology to Rock on Instagram.

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