Less than a week from scandal caused by the slap he gave to Chris Rock in the middle of the Oscars ceremony, Will Smith announced his resignation from the Hollywood Academy. In this way, the actor anticipated the verdict of the Academy’s Board of Directors, which had set a meeting for the 18th of this month to analyze possible sanctions (expulsion or suspension) against the actor. for his behavior.
“The list of people I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones., all attendees and the global audience at home,” reads the text of Smith’s resignation. “I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived the other nominees and winners of the opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken,” he added.
“I want to refocus on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy come back to the incredible work you do to support creativity and artistry in film. Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I will never let violence trump reason again.” who lives the most complicated moment of his career, with his personal and professional future surrounded by great uncertainty.
In his resignation, Smith made no mention of the award he received last Sunday at the same ceremony., minutes after the scandal as best lead actor for his work in the film King Richard: A winning family. It is clear from the text that the resignation only affects his status as a member of the Hollywood Academy, but he does not resign from the Oscar he received that evening.
The altercation which at this point is considered the biggest scandal in Oscar history occurred when comedian Chris Rock made a joke about the Physical appearance of Jada Pinkett, Smith’s wife, which the actor took as a grievance related to his health. Pinkett, who sat next to her husband, suffers from alopecia which causes hair loss. Smith got up from his seat, approached the stage and slapped Rock in the face.
The episode sparked a controversy that has grown in recent days with conflicting versions of what happened immediately afterwards. The Hollywood Academy, faced with an internal crisis due to the episode, he first revealed that he asked Smith to leave the ceremony immediately and that the actor himself refused to do so. Shortly after, it turned out that this request was never formally produced and that Smith remained in his place at the request of the general producer of the ceremony, Will Packer, who surely had in his conscience very clear this which could happen if the almost certain winner of one of the evening’s biggest prizes leaves his seat.
Packer, in televised statements made on Friday, expanded on his testimony and said the initiative for Smith to stay at the Dolby Theater came from Rock himself, who has not filed any charges or charges against Smith. The Los Angeles police, in fact, were ready to arrest Smith if that happened. Rock, who traveled to Boston to open a headlining tour there with his new comedy show, the death of the ego. The only thing Rock has said so far is that he was “processing” everything that happened., but his environment was responsible for putting Packer’s words into perspective.
Several Hollywood media have recalled in recent hours that Rock still has six months to appear before the police and report the assault. Under California law, if the comedian were to press charges and Smith is found guilty, Smith could be fined up to $100,000 and six months in jail.
Before the resignation was known, it was assumed that the most likely sanction against Smith was an extended suspension as a member of the Hollywood Academy and an absolute ban from attending next year’s Oscars. The tradition of these awards says that the winner of the Best Actor award is who presented and presented the Oscar for best actress the following year. The possibility that the Academy decides to expel Smith does not seem to be taken into account by the entity. The biggest risk Smith would face is a possible decision by the Academy of withdraw his name for the next few years from any Oscar nominations. If that happens, Smith’s movie career from now on would take a serious hit.
Now the situation is completely changing and the Academy has to recalculate the episode rating for its April 18 session. In any case, the scandal does not only involve one of Hollywood’s biggest stars. It also opened up deep references within the entity, especially after learning that Smith held a meeting via Zoom with Academy President Rick Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson after the scandal, but no d ‘they did not reveal the fact to the rest of the board of directors, composed, among others, director Steven Spielberg and actress Whoopi Goldberguntil it transcends the press.