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Academy fast-tracks Will Smith’s Oscar slap disciplinary review

Forget slaps, the Academy is pulling no punches. Discussion on how to discipline actor Will Smith following the slapping incident that occurred at the Oscars on March 27, has been moved up, according to an announcement made by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Academy President David Rubin shared in a letter to the Academy members on Wednesday that the previously scheduled meeting on April 18 has been moved up to April 8. “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,” Rubin said in a memo acquired by Variety. “We were required to provide Mr. Smith notice 15 days prior to the board meeting at which such action might be taken,” the note continued, “and also give him the opportunity to provide the board a written statement no less than five days prior to that meeting.” Smith, 53, resigned from the Academy earlier this month over the incident during the telecast where he hit comedian Chris Rock in the face after he said a not-so-nice comment about the former’s wife Jada Pinkett-Smith. Despite to the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” actor previously taking his leave from the organization, the latter could still discipline him for slapping Rock, 57, on stage in front of the world. Any disciplinary action could make Smith ineligible for future awards consideration in the future and the company could bar him from attending next year’s telecast. The father of three won the Oscar for Best Actor at this year’s ceremony for his role as tennis pros Venus and Serena Williams’ father in “King Richard.” In his resignation announcement, Smith said he was “heartbroken” over his actions. “I have directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct,” he said via a statement. He continued, “My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable. 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. I betrayed the trust of the Academy,” Sony and Netflix have also put several of the “Switch” singer’s projects on pause. Sony is halting “Bad Boys 4,” while Netflix is finding a new director for “Fast and Loose.” Smith’s slave drama “Emancipation” for Apple+ has already been completed.

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