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Will Smith Resigns Academy Membership After Slapping Chris Rock at Oscars

"My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful and inexcusable," the actor says.

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Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, generational studies. Credentials
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Gael Cooper
2 min read
Will Smith at the 94th annual Academy Awards

After slapping presenter Chris Rock, Will Smith was again back up on the Oscars stage when he won the best actor award.

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Will Smith will resign from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences after he hit presenter and comedian Chris Rock during last Sunday's Oscars.

"My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful and inexcusable," Smith said in a statement Friday, according to The Hollywood Reporter. "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."

Academy President David Rubin said the organization had accepted Smith's "immediate resignation."

"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," Rubin said in a statement.

A representative for Smith didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

According to the Reporter, Smith's resignation means he can't vote for future Academy Awards, but he can still be nominated, attend the event and keep the best actor statue he won Sunday night. Smith won for playing Richard Williams, father of tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams, in the film King Richard.

Smith went on stage during the live telecast and slapped Rock after the comedian joked about the short hair of Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia, which causes hair loss. 

On Monday, Smith apologized on Instagram for the slap. On Tuesday, Jada Pinkett Smith posted to Instagram that, "This is a season for healing and I'm here for it."

As for Rock, he didn't engage with an audience member who yelled out against Smith at a Boston comedy show this week, instead saying, "No, no, no, no, no," according to People magazine.

The Los Angeles Police Department said Rock chose not to file a police report against Smith.

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