Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

As it happenedended1648970903

Will Smith news - live: ‘Heartbroken’ actor’s resignation from the Academy accepted by organisation

Best Actor winner resigns from Motion Picture Academy, saying list of those harmed by Oscars slap is “long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones”

Peony Hirwani
Sunday 03 April 2022 08:28 BST
Will Smith punches Chris Rock at the Oscars

Nearly a week after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars, Hollywood is still abuzz with activity, as celebrities weigh in on the incident, while a “formal review” of the incident began at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Now they’ve got something new to talk about: the King Richard star has resigned from the Academy, which puts on the Oscars.

“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.”

It’s the latest sign of friction between the Hollywood heavyweight and the film group.

Smith was reportedly asked to leave the Oscars after breaking the Academy’s code of conduct, but he refused.

Though Mr Rock has declined to press charges against Mr Smith, on Wednesday, during the sold-out Boston show of his Ego Death tour, Rock finally addressed the altercation and said he was “still processing.”

“I’m still processing what happened, so at some point I’ll talk about that s***,” the comedian also said on stage, adding, “It’ll be serious. It’ll be funny, but right now I’m going to tell some jokes.”

You can follow all the developments about the “slap that was heard around the world” in our live blog below...


What has Chris Rock said about The Slap?

Seemingly everyone has weighed in on the Will Smith x Chris Rock Oscars slap...except from Rock, himself. Until now.

The comedian addressed the altercation this week at the sold-out Boston show of his Ego Death tour, where he said he was “still processing” what happened last weekend.

Check out Maanya Sachdeva’s story for more information on what Chris Rock had to say.

Chris Rock breaks silence on Will Smith Oscars slap

Smith struck Rock for joking about the actor’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith at the Academy Awards

Josh Marcus2 April 2022 01:50

WATCH: Andrew Garfield appears to mock Will Smith Oscars slap

Everyone had a different reaction to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at Sunday’s Oscars.

While The Slap silenced many in the room, Andrew Garfield appeared to mock Will Smith.

Andrew Garfield appears to mock Will Smith Oscars slap

Here’s our story on what it was like inside the room when it happened.

Oscars bartender shares behind-the-scenes insight into award ceremony

‘Nicest celebs of the night were Reba and Rami Malek’

Josh Marcus2 April 2022 02:20

Celebrities are bored of talking about The Slap

A week later, discussing The Slap is getting a bit stale, according to some celebrities.

Among them are Amir “Questlove” Thompson, the Roots drummer, whose directorial debut Summer of Soul, about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, won Best Documentary at the Oscars.

Harry Potter star Daniel Radcliffe is similarly nonplussed by all the slap-happy discussion.

Read Sam Moore’s story to find out what he said.

Daniel Radcliffe is ‘dramatically bored’ of reactions to Will Smith’s Oscars slap

Smith slapped Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife’s appearance

Josh Marcus2 April 2022 03:00

WATCH: Tiffany Haddish among rare celebs defending Will Smith over Oscars slap

Will Smith has largely been condemned for slapping comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars on Sunday, but Tiffany Haddish was one of the few stars coming to his defence.

She called the ceremony a “success” and praised the King Richard star for standing up for his wife.

Watch more of her comments below, via The Recount.

Some others, including multiple members of Congress, initially spoke out on social media and supported Mr Smith, before quickly deleting their statements of approval.

Ayanna Pressley clarifies tweet thanking Will Smith for slapping Chris Rock at Oscars

‘Shout out to all the husbands who defend their wives living with alopecia,’ congresswoman said in now-deleted tweet

Josh Marcus2 April 2022 04:00

Did Will Smith use a ‘fake’ hand to slap Chris Rock?

Online conspiracy theories have flooded social media in the wake of the Will Smith and Chris Rock Oscars drama, falsely suggesting The Slap was staged.

Despite the Academy’s official statement, Smith’s public apology, condemnation from Oscar attendees and a play-by-play account of the moments that led up to the “slap heard around the world”, some social media users have falsely suggested the incident was staged in a bid to resuscitate the Oscars’ dismal viewership figures.

The Independent has fact-checked some of the wildest conspiracies about The Slap. Read more below.

The most bizarre Will Smith and Chris Rock theories, debunked

One theory falsely suggested Chris Rock was wearing a ‘cheek pad’, while another claimed Will Smith used his left hand to hit his chest to generate the sound of the slap

Josh Marcus2 April 2022 04:30

College students speak out in new poll about The Slap

University students across the US have been following the Will Smith Oscars drama just like everyone else.

Ninety per cent of students interviewed in a new poll said they had seen video of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock, while a large majority also condemned the attack.

Cyrus Beschloss of Generation Lab has more on the numbers.

Josh Marcus2 April 2022 05:00

The Academy accepts Will Smith’s ‘immediate resignation’ ahead of disciplinary hearing

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says it has accepted Will Smith’s “immediate resignation” from the organisation and will “continue to move forward” with its disciplinary proceedings against him.

The King Richard actor said he was “heartbroken” and would accept any consequences that emerged from his scheduled hearing in a statement announcing his decision.

Soon after that, Academy president David Rubin said: “We have received and accepted Mr 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 Mr Smith for violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, in advance of our next scheduled board meeting on April 18,” he said in a subsequent statement, shared with the PA news agency.

Mike Bedigan has the full story:

Academy accepts Smith’s ‘immediate resignation’ ahead of disciplinary hearing

The actor said he was ‘heartbroken’ by the decision and would accept any consequences that emerged from his scheduled hearing.

Peony Hirwani2 April 2022 05:10

Fans are divided over Will Smith’s decision to resign from the Academy

Will Smith’s fans are divided over his decision to resign from The Academy over his Oscars slap.

In a statement, the 53-year-old actor called his actions “shocking, painful and inexcusable” and said he will accept any “further consequences” the Academy may still decide on.

While some people “feel” for the King Richard actor, others think that he isn’t being “sincere” and is doing some “damage control.”

One supportive fan wrote: “This is how you do an apology. It covers all the necessary bases, it seems absolutely sincere, and there’s nothing groveling about it. He’s earned my respect back. Well done.”

A disappointed fan added: “Well, one thing is for sure, that [his] publicist knows how to write a letter of apology. I’ll just wait for the interview [with] Gayle or Oprah and see what comes from his lips directly. Ho-hum.”

Peony Hirwani2 April 2022 05:30

What does it mean to resign from The Academy?

On Sunday (1 April), Will Smith resigned from The Academy following an incident in which he slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage.

When someone resigns from The Academy, they are no longer eligible to enjoy the benefits provided by the organisation, including the ability to vote for fellow nominees and access screeners for films in consideration for different awards.

One thing that’s still not confirmed is whether Smith will continue to receive invitations to attend future Academy Awards and related events. The decision will probably be made after the board reaches a conclusion at the disciplinary meeting later this month.

The Academy’s code of conduct, which was revised in 2017 following the Harvey Weinstein scandal, includes disciplinary measures that “may include private reprimand, public reprimand, temporary or permanent loss of privileges to attend and participate in Academy events or activities, temporary or permanent loss of eligibility to receive or hold or revocation of Academy awards or honors, temporary or permanent loss of eligibility to hold Academy service and volunteer roles, or other sanctions that the Academy in its sole discretion may deem appropriate.”

Peony Hirwani2 April 2022 06:00

Questlove asks people to ‘stop talking about’ Will Smith and Chris Rock at the Oscars

On Friday (1 April), musician and filmmaker Questlove – real name Ahmir Khalib Thompson – seemingly expressed his wish for the conversation to stop.

His film, Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), won the award for Best Documentary Feature just moments after the slap on Sunday (27 March).

“Can we FINNNNNNNALY stop talking about it?” he tweeted to his followers.

Earlier this week, Questlove appeared with his Oscar on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. During the interview, he revealed that he’d been meditating at the time of the incident.

Nicole Vassell has the full story:

Questlove seemingly asks people to ‘stop talking about’ the slap at the Oscars

‘Can we FINALLY stop talking about it?’ the musician and filmmaker asked

Peony Hirwani2 April 2022 07:00

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in