On Friday (April 1st), Will Smith released a statement announcing that he is resigning from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
“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,” the statement read.
“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,” he continued. “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.”
The President of the Academy, David Rubin, issued a statement shortly thereafter: “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.”
DENZEL WASHINGTON BREAKS HIS SILENCE ON WILL SMITH SLAPPING CHRIS ROCK
Variety reports that at T.D. Jakes‘ leadership summit Saturday (April 2nd), Denzel Washington commented on the situation, saying, “Well, there’s a saying, ‘When the devil ignores you, then you know you’re doing something wrong.’ The devil goes, ‘Oh no, leave him alone, he’s my favorite.’ Conversely, when the devil comes at you, maybe it’s because he’s trying to do something right. And for whatever reason the devil got ahold of that circumstance that night.”
The Training Day actor continued, “Fortunately there were people there. Not just me, but others. Tyler Perry came immediately right over there with me. Said some prayers. I don’t wanna say what we talked about, but for the grace of God go any of us. Who are we to condemn? I don’t know all the ins and outs of the situation, but I know the only solution was prayer, the way I see it.”
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE ADDRESSES THE OSCARS SLAP
Saturday Night Live addressed the infamous slap a few times this past weekend. Entertainment Tonight reports that host Jerrod Carmichael, who had just come out as gay through his new HBO comedy special, talked about the Oscars slap in his opening monologue—without even having to mention Will Smith and Chris Rock by name.
“This is going to really blow your minds. Can you believe that it's been six days? Six days! This happened a week ago. Doesn't it feel like it happened years ago? Like doesn't it feel like it happened when we were all in high school? Like it feels like it happened between Jamiroquai and 9/11. A long, long time ago. It happened on Sunday. Sunday! It's Saturday, bro,” he said.
Carmichael said he made a vow to stop talking about the slap, but that “Lorne Michaels came into my dressing room. He was like, 'I think you need to talk about it.' He said, 'The nation needs to heal.'”
Michael Che and Colin Jost made jokes about the incident on Weekend Update, and the show also featured a skit of the night in question.