Stories

Will Smith Officially Resigns From The Academy — What Does That Mean Going Forward?

ADVERTISEMENT

On Friday, actor Will Smith announced in a statement that he was officially resigning from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, the exclusive invitation-only guild that awards excellence in film. This follows the 2022 Oscars ceremony on Sunday, March 27, during which he slapped presented Chris Rock after the comedian made a comment about his wife’s hair.

Founded in 1927, the organization boasts 10,000 members and acknowledges remarkable achievements in the cinematic arts. On Sunday, Smith had won an Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in King Richard. What does it mean to no longer be a part of the Academy? What will the organization do next?

ADVERTISEMENT

Will Smith announces he is resigning from the Academy

Will Smith won an Oscar for King Richard but has announced he is resigning from the Academy / 2021. © Warner Bros. / courtesy Everett Collection

“My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable,” Smith’s statement reads. He goes on to name Rock, the comedian’s family, and his own loved ones as people he hurt when he slapped Rock.

ADVERTISEMENT

RELATED: The Response To The Infamous Will Smith, Chris Rock Slap—Was It Justified?

Smith continues, “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.”

What does this mean?

Smtih slapped Rock after Rock commented on his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair, worn shaved from alopecia / YouTube

A statement by the Academy indicated the organization asked Smith to leave after he slapped Rock. A source with alleged knowledge of what happened has further clarified that Smtih “was firmly asked by way of his publicist to leave the Oscars. He refused and that was communicated back to Academy leadership.”

Following Smith’s resignation, David Rubin, president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said the Academy accepts his resignation and added, “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.” Speculation proposes that Smith may lose his latest Oscar, which has not happened to other actors to date, but for the moment, leaving the Academy means he is no longer a voting member of the organization. Variety reports that he can also still be invited to later ceremonies and can be nominated in the future. Admission is by invitation only, and hopeful members must be essentially sponsored by two existing guild members; there is no application process. It is not clear at this time if the board was going to expel Smith if he did not resign. Only two others have resigned: production sound mixer Peter Kurland and sound engineer Tom Fleischman apparently in protest against technical awards being announced before the official ceremony.

After Smith’s actions at the Oscars on Sunday, debates have arisen in support of and against the Fresh Prince alum. Voices have said he was right to do what he did, others feel it sets a dangerous precedent. It has also sparked discussions on gender, race, and the general culture of the entertainment industry. Was resigning the right move?

Smith so far still has his latest Oscar, but he is no longer a voting member of the guild now that he resigned / YouTube screenshot

RELATED: Oscars Celebrates 50 Years Of The Godfather With Al Pacino, Ford Coppola, & Robert De Niro

Show comments
Share
Published by

Recent Posts

Burt Mustin From ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ Started His Career In His Mid-60s

The name Burt Mustin may resonate with many, as his face appeared on television and…

2 hours ago

William Shatner Opens Up About His Space Experience

90-year-old actor, presenter, spoken word poet, and author William Shatner has added another feather to…

4 hours ago

Kenny Loggins Once Said Garth Brooks Ripped Him Off In The ’90s

Think back for a minute about Kenny Loggins' 1991 song "Conviction of the Heart" and…

14 hours ago

George Segal From ‘Look Who’s Talking’ Caused Mischief In A New Comedy Before Dying At 87

Very little of the plot of Look Who's Talking could have happened without Albert. Unfortunately…

16 hours ago

See The Two Living Members of The Doors Now: Robby Krieger and John Densmore

The Doors was one of the notable bands in the '60s and '70s, but their…

1 day ago

A Trip Down The Rat Pack’s Memory Lane

The iconic Rat Pack consisted of a group of legendary performers, including Frank Sinatra, Dean…

1 day ago