Will Smith and Chris Rock at the Oscars

Source: Rob Latour/Shutterstock

Will Smith appears to slap Chris Rock at the Oscars

The Academy has moved up its governors Zoom meeting to determine the fate of Will Smith from April 18 to this Friday (April 8).

In a letter to governors on Wednesday (April 6) Academy president David Rubin said the April 18 meeting had been set in accordance with California law and the ”legally prescribed timetable” no longer applied after Smith resigned from the organisation last week.

It was in the interests of all involved, Rubin added, to settle the matter “in a timely fashion” via Friday’s Zoom call.

Smith resigned from the Academy last Friday (April 1), five days after he walked on stage at the 94th Academy Awards and slapped presenter Chris Rock for telling a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.

While the actor has faced pubic censure in some quarters – as well as support – there has been no official Academy sanction of his behaviour at the Oscars when he also returned to his seat and shouted expletives at Rock. A short while later Smith was back on stage to accept the best lead actor award for King Richard.

Rubin’s full letter appears 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.