(AFP) – LOS ANGELES – Will Smith of the United States resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Friday, just five days after attacking comedian Chris Rock during a live global broadcast.
As his actions overshadowed Hollywood’s glitziest night of the year, the actor called them as “shocking, painful, and inexcusable.”
“The number of people I’ve injured is long, and it includes Chris, his family, many of my own friends and loved ones, everyone in attendance, and the global audience watching from home,” Smith continued.
“I shattered the Academy’s trust. I denied other candidates and victors the chance to celebrate and be recognised for their exceptional efforts. I’m heartbroken.”
Attendees at the Dolby Theatre gasped when Smith mounted the stage and hit Rock across the face after the comedian made a joke about his wife’s neatly trimmed hair.
Jada Pinkett Smith has alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss.
He returned to his seat and cursed at Rock, who had been praised for remaining cool and restoring order.
Half an hour after the startling incident, Smith was awarded the Oscar for best actor for his performance in the sports biopic “King Richard.”