Will Smith Resigns From Academy Membership Following Oscars Slap

TL;DR:

  • Will Smith resigns from the academy following his altercation with Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards
  • Will Smith’s resignation will make him ineligible to vote for upcoming awards
  • Smith is already connected to three projects that are in production and one that is announced.
Chris Rock leaning over as Will Smith's hand comes back from hitting the comedian
‘Oscars 2022’: Chris Rock and Will Smith | Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Will Smith’s altercation with Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards on March 27 has created a lot of discussions. Smith faced backlash for his behavior, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences faced criticism for the speed of its response to the incident. Five days later, significant developments have occurred. The day after the incident, Smith issued a public apology. The academy then announced it would launch an investigation. Now, five days after the incident, Will Smith has formally announced his resignation from the academy. 

Will Smith resigns from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

In a statement received by Deadline on April 1, Smith stated that he has responded to the academy’s disciplinary notice. He went on to say that his behavior was inexcusable and noted that he still plans to accept any actions the academy takes. Still, he appears to be taking his fate into his own hands.

Will Smith resigns days after standing on stage at the Academy Awards to accept his first Oscar
Will Smith | Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

In the statement, the King Richard star acknowledged that his actions hurt many people. He named Rock, but also stated that his actions hurt all the nominees and winners at this year’s event. He went on to say that he has decided to resign because he wants to ensure the Academy can put its focus back on supporting the film industry. 

While the decision to resign was a shock, disciplinary actions from the academy were expected. Expulsion and suspension were both discussed during a March 30 meeting of the Board of Governors. More than 50 people were on hand for the virtual meeting

What does Will Smith’s academy resignation mean? 

Smith’s resignation came as a shock to fans and industry insiders, but what exactly does it mean for his future in Hollywood? According to Variety, Smith’s resignation makes him ineligible to vote for next year’s awards. The resignation also means he won’t be allowed to attend certain academy events. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVvgCMZSkyw&t=14s

While he can still be invited to the awards ceremony, the resignation may make him ineligible to present at next year’s ceremony. It is tradition for the winner of the Best Actor category to present the Best Actress Category at the following Academy Awards. Smith took home the statue in 2022 for his work in King Richard. The academy has not yet commented on how they will proceed. 

What projects does Will Smith have in the works? 

Smith is an actor who is in high demand. He’s been considered an A-list actor for decades, and he has no shortage of potential projects. Could Will Smith resigning from the academy affect his future projects? It’s hard to say, but he already has things in the works. 

Will Smith appears at the premiere of 'Focus' in 2015
Will Smith | Jason Merritt/Getty Images

Before the infamous Oscars slap, Smith completed filming on Emancipation, an Apple project. Smith plays the lead role in the movie. According to IMDb, Smith is tied to three projects in the pre-production phase of development. Smith is set to appear in Bad Boys 4, Fast and Loose, and The Council. Smith is also expected to reprise his role in Bright 2.

RELATED: Will Smith Chris Rock Slap: Ron Howard Expects Academy ‘Will Be Very, Very Thoughtful’ in Review