The Academy meets Friday to discuss Will Smith’s fate

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The Board of Governors of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has announced that it will meet this Friday to discuss any possible sanctions and consequences resulting from the behavior of Will Smith at the 2022 ceremony. The Board was originally scheduled to meet on April 18 but has moved the meeting up in the wake of Smith’s decision to voluntarily resign from the Academy.

According to a letter obtained by Variety, Academy president David Rubin wrote that “I am calling a board meeting for this Friday morning, April 8, at 9:00 a.m. 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.” Rubin went on to note that since “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.”

California law required the Academy to provide 15 days notice prior to any vote that could end in suspension or expulsion, as well as the opportunity to respond to the Board via written message. As Smith’s voluntary resignation from the institution effectively takes both outcomes off the table, the Academy is no longer bound by its previous timeline and, as such, has chosen to expedite the matter.

Although Smith has taken two rather large consequences off the table, the Board could still recommend his exclusion from future ceremonies and events. They could also, potentially, revoke his award, although most experts agree that an action this drastic will likely not be utilized. The Academy’s own code of conduct grant the organization a great deal of latitude when it comes to sanctions, granting itself sole discretion in the matter. Until Friday’s meeting, it’s anybody’s guess what, if any, consequences Smith will face.

Rubin’s full letter reads as follows:

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