Smith said in a statement, via his representative, sent to PEOPLE, “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.”
He added, “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.”
Concluding, he announced his departure from the Academy: “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.”
Following Smith’s resignation, David Rubin, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, also issued a statement.
“We have received and accepted Mr. Will Smith‘s immediate resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,” Rubin said in a statement sent to PEOPLE. “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.”
The conflict at the 2022 Oscars arose after Rock cracked a joke directed at Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, regarding her shaved head. The actress, 50, has previously disclosed that she lives with alopecia, a condition that causes her to lose her hair.
Smith has since apologized to Rock, writing in part in a lengthy Instagram post on Monday, “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”
Also on Monday, the Academy said in an initial statement, “The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show. We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law.”
In a follow-up statement shared with PEOPLE Wednesday, the Academy said, “The Board of Governors today initiated disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and compromising the integrity of the Academy.”
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It noted that after striking Rock, Smith “was asked to leave the ceremony and refused.”
Smith was given 15 days to respond to the proceedings. The Academy said they “may take any disciplinary action, which may include suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct,” at a board meeting on April 18.
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Rock broke his silence on the incident during a show at The Wilbur in Boston Wednesday night, telling the audience, “I’m still processing what happened.”
He added that he would probably talk about what happened at some point in a serious manner, according to an audience member, but that he had written a whole show full of jokes for Wednesday evening.