US actor Will Smith has resigned from the Oscars Academy after slapping comedian Chris Rock on stage during last Sunday’s ceremony.
“I am resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences,” he said in a statement.
Smith said he was “heartbroken” and would “accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate”.
“My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable,” he said.
“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.”
He went on: “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 slapped the comedian after he made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, a result of the hair-loss condition alopecia.
The actor said he wanted to “put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements”.
He concluded that “change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason”.
Rock addressed the episode during a stand-up show in Boston on Wednesday, saying he was “still kind of processing what happened”.
The comedian, 57, who is currently starring in his “Ego Death” tour of the US, was greeted with a standing ovation by fans.
David Rubin, president of the film academy, said on Friday that it accepted Smith’s resignation but would continue disciplinary proceedings that could lead to more sanctions.