Will Smith Resigns From the Academy After Chris Rock Slap

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Will Smith has resigned from the Academy. In a statement to ET on Friday, the 53-year-old actor said he's "resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences" after he slapped Chris Rock at Sunday's 94th Annual Academy Awards in response to a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's hair. 

The move comes after the Academy said that a formal review of the incident was underway, and noted that they have "initiated disciplinary proceedings... which may include suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct."

In a statement to ET, David Rubin, President, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, said, "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."

In regards to the privileges that Smith stands to lose as a result of his resignation from the Academy, an industry source tells ET that, "on April 18th, the Board intends to discuss sanctions available to them in accordance with their bylaws."

As for Smith, his statement begins, "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," the statement continues. "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."

As such, Smith's said he's resigning from the Academy and "will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate."

Smith's statement concludes, "Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason."

This marks the third time Smith has publicly addressed the incident. The first came shortly after the slap, when Smith won the Best Actor Oscar for his role in King Richard. During his acceptance speech, he did not apologize to Rock , but instead offered apologies to his peers and the Academy. The next day, however, Smith took to Instagram to speak out again, this time apologizing to Rock specifically, as well as others who were impacted by his actions.

"Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive," Smith's previous statement read in part. "My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally."

"I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris," the statement added. "I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness."

Meanwhile, Rock, who declined to press charges after the incident, spoke about the situation for the first time on Wednesday, telling the audience at his stand-up show that he was "still processing" everything, adding, "I will talk about it, and it will be serious, and it will be funny, but not tonight."

On the second night of his stand-up tour, Rock addressed hecklers who yelled "F**k Will Smith" during his set, a source told ET.

The first disturbance came at the beginning of the show, when someone near the front row said, 'F**k Will Smith,' seemingly trying to get a reaction from Rock, the source said. 

The venue security swiftly removed the man, the source said, prompting Rock to joke, "Where were y'all at the Oscars?" Rock's comment likely referred to the fact that, after Smith's slap, the Oscars audience gave the King Richard star a standing ovation when he won his Oscar.

Later in Rock's Thursday stand-up set, a second heckler proclaimed, "F**k Will Smith," the source says. That time, Rock diffused the situation by saying, "No, no, no," per the source.

"Chris is not going to take the bait or engage with any hecklers," the source said.

A source previously told ET that Rock has been "pensive" and that the events from Sunday have been on his mind, but he didn't want them to distract from his performance. 

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