What a mess:
Will Smith has apparently resigned from the Motion Picture Academy just five days after he received his Oscar for Best Actor in “King Richard.”
Smith decided not to wait for the Academy’s decision on April 18th about suspension or expulsion. He took the decision from them, ending a week of bad press that would not go away.
Smith wrote in a statement: “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,” Smith said.
He added: “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. 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. Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”
The Academy responded: “We have received and accepted Mr. Will Smith’s immediate resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,” the Academy said in a statement. “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.”
This seems a reasonable thing to do for now. But I also think that Will will be reinstated down the line when this chaos calms down and everyone can evaluate what happened. In the meantime, Smith can still be nominated for an Oscar although it’s unlikely ever to happen again. He can’t vote, won’t be invited to Academy events, etc. He will keep his Oscar but it will forever be tarnished, associated with this bizarre incident.