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Will Smith resigns from Academy after slapping Oscars presenter

Hollywood actor Will Smith resigns from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences after slapping Oscars presenter Chris Rock.

Hollywood actor Will Smith has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, pre-empting possible expulsion for slapping Oscars presenter Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards.

His resignation comes as the Academy is mulling punishment, including expulsion or suspension, for Smith after he walked on stage on Sunday and slapped Rock after he joked about the hair of his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

Rock, a comedian, likened Jada, who is suffering from hair loss due to alopecia, to the role played by Demi Moore in ‘G.I. Jane.’ in which she shaved her head.

Smith on Friday described his actions as “shocking, painful and inexcusable”, saying he will “accept any and all consequences for my conduct”.

“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 in a statement.

“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,” he added.

Smith concluded his statement saying “Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”

The Academy accepted Smith’s immediate resignation, with its president David Rubin saying 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.”

Smith initially failed to apologize to Rock when he delivered a speech after he won the best actor for his performance in ‘King Richard’ on Sunday.

But he finally apologized to Rock and admitted that he “was wrong” on Monday, saying his reaction came as “a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear.”