This year's Oscars were overshadowed by Will Amith's assault on Chris Rock. The actor went up to the stage and struck Rock right across his face after he made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett's baldness. Upon his return to his chair, Smith continued hurling abuses at the comedian warning him to 'keep his wife's name out of his mouth'. Pinkett Smith suffers from hair loss due to alopecia. He later apologised to Academy during his winning speech and later wrote an apology letter on social media mentioning Chris Rock. The Oscars committee has started a formal investigation into the matter as well. Now, days after the ceremony, Jada Pinkett has apparently admitted that Will Smith 'overreacted' to the situation.
“It was in the heat of the moment and it was him overreacting. He knows that, she knows that. They’re in agreement that he overreacted,” US Weekly quoted a source as saying. “She’s not one of these women that needs protecting. He didn’t need to do what he did, she didn’t need protecting. She’s not a wallflower. She’s a strong woman, an opinionated woman and she can fight her own battles. But she will stand by him,” the source added.
Meanwhile, the Hollywood star has instead resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. The move comes as the actor is embroiled in the gravest crisis of his career and as the organisation behind the Academy Awards has struggled in its attempts to deal with the fallout from the altercation, reports 'Variety'.
In a statement, Smith called his actions "shocking, painful and inexcusable" and said that he will accept any additional consequences that the Academy's Board of Governors deems appropriate.
"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.
"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."
Smith also acknowledged that his actions overshadowed other winners at the 94th Academy Awards.
"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," he stated, concluding with "change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason".
Academy president David Rubin replied to his resignation, saying in a statement: "We have received and accepted Will Smith's immediate resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. We will continue to move forward with our disciplinary proceedings against Smith for violations of the Academy's Standards of Conduct, in advance of our next scheduled board meeting on April 18."