The latest news is out: Will Smith has quit the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (AMPAS). On Wednesday, three days after his onstage assault against comedian Chris Rock via the “slap heard 'round the world,” the Academy began disciplinary proceedings against the shamed actor.
A statement was released following the meeting of the board of governors indicating that Smith had breached the AMPAS's Standards of Conduct, “including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and compromising the integrity of the Academy.” Therefore, the actor was at risk of suspension or even expulsion.
The Academy also acknowledged that it had not handled the incident properly when it occurred. “The events unfolded in a manner we would never have imagined. We would be happy to confirm that. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony but declined; we acknowledge that we could have handled the incident differently.”
To be fair, they couldn't have predicted the outcome ahead of time. Will Smith seemed to take the form of a man with a revelation that only he understood, since he was the only “real” person in the room. But every action has consequences. In the event that this analogy is appropriate to the situation, he has apparently awakened with regret.
In a statement made public by Variety on Friday, the Oscar winner clarified what happened. “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,” the actor said. “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.” In addition, he stated the fact that “change takes time.”
He concluded, “[I] am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”
Concerning the Academy asking him to leave, there are multiple accounts. According to Variety, the organization's leadership never explicitly requested that he be removed, and the producer, Will Packer, urged him to remain. In an interview on Good Morning America, Packer claimed that Smith remained on the advice of Chris Rock–something that Rock's camp has repeatedly denied.
However it happened, the rapper-turned-movie-star went on to accept the Best Actor award for his portrayal of Richard Williams in the film King Richard.
In the case of Hollywood King Will, at present, it appears that he's only taking the role of a prince who's just been born–one who is no longer an official participant in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. Will he be back? Very likely he will.
In the meantime, the New York Post reported that his resignation won't impact the Academy's assessment of the incident.