The Academy board of governors will convene this Friday instead of the previously scheduled April 18 meeting to discuss “possible sanctions” for Will Smith following his slap on Chris Rock during the Oscars on March 27.

“The April 18 date was set in accordance with California law and our Standards of Conduct because our agenda included possible suspension or expulsion of Mr. Smith from membership,” the letter, signed by Academy president David Rubin, stated. “We were required to provide Mr. Smith notice 15 days prior to the board meeting at which such action might be taken, and also give him the opportunity to provide the board a written statement no less than five days prior to that meeting.”

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Following Smith’s resignation of the Academy on April 1, Rubin wrote that “suspension or expulsion are no longer a possibility and the legally prescribed timeline no longer applies. It is in the best interest of all involved for this to be handled in a timely fashion.”

The Academy’s investigation has continued following Smith’s resignation, which means he can no longer vote for the Oscars — but he can still be nominated for Academy Awards, attend future ceremonies and keep the statue he just won in the lead actor category for his role in King Richard.

Variety was first to report that the board of governors’ meeting had been moved up.

Rock was presenting best documentary feature at the Oscars last month when he made a G.I. Jane joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who has a shaved head (the actress has alopecia). Afterward, Smith walked onto the stage, slapped Rock and then returned to his seat, where he shouted at the comedian to keep his wife’s name out of his “fucking mouth.”

Later in the show, Smith made a tearful apology to the Academy and fellow nominees while accepting his Oscar. But it wasn’t until Monday, in an Instagram post, that Smith apologized to Rock. Rock has remained mostly silent, telling the audience at his comedy show in Boston last week, “I’m still kind of processing what happened. … So at some point I’ll talk about that shit. And it’ll be serious, and it’ll be funny.”

See Rubin’s full letter below.

Dear Fellow Governors, 

I am calling a board meeting for this Friday morning, April 8, at 9:00 am PT, rather than the previously scheduled April 18 meeting, to address possible sanctions for Will Smith in response to his actions during the Oscars broadcast on March 27.

The April 18 date was set in accordance with California law and our Standards of Conduct because our agenda included possible suspension or expulsion of Mr. Smith from membership.  We were required to provide Mr. Smith notice 15 days prior to the board meeting at which such action might be taken, and also give him the opportunity to provide the board a written statement no less than five days prior to that meeting.  

Following Mr. Smith’s resignation of his Academy membership on Friday, April 1, suspension or expulsion are no longer a possibility and the legally prescribed timetable no longer applies. 

It is in the best interest of all involved for this to be handled in a timely fashion. 

Thank you for arranging to assemble on Friday morning at 9:00 am PT.  Zoom details will follow soon.

David

Hollywood Reporter Original Article

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