After Will Smith Retired From The Academy, The Board Has Shifted A Big Meeting To Discuss The Slap

With The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences continuing to work through their official reaction to the slapping incident between Will Smith and Chris Rock, the matter is progressing faster than expected. After Smith’s recent resignation from The Academy, the board seems ready to accelerate their timetable in the proceedings. With recent news suggesting that a big meeting has been moved up, we might be closer to an official decision. 

Per information obtained by Fox News, The Academy is now going to meet this afternoon, as highlighted in a letter from Academy president David Rubin. Revealing part of the text from his message to the board, Rubin’s reasoning is directly tied to Will Smith’s resignation, for the following reasons: 

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.

Thanks to Will Smith’s voluntary resignation from AMPAS, the road ahead seems to be a little clearer for The Academy. At the very least, there are fewer options that are on the table, as being temporarily suspended or expelled entirely are no longer viable. With Smith’s decision including a promise to abide by any formal judgment the board decides to enact, that would seem to be the main thrust of the meeting that will take place over Zoom later today. 

The March 27th incident that saw Will Smith slapping Chris Rock on stage at the 94th Academy Awards continues to make news with all of the recent developments. Not too long after the event itself, Smith formally apologized to Rock in a public statement, including a message against violence in the text. Meanwhile, The Academy’s reaction to the situation on the night is also being called into question. 

Allegations were made by unnamed sources that the show’s producer Will Packer asked Will Smith to stay, amidst a supposed lack of consensus among those running the telecast on how to handle the issue. These accusations were made shortly after The Academy claimed they tried to eject Smith from the festivities, but the actor refused to comply.

From this point, The Academy’s disciplinary proceedings could yield a judgement in the near future. Uncertainty still looms over what the official reaction will be, with even Will Smith worrying about his career in light of whatever comes next. All anyone can do is keep following the story, and hope that future updates yield a result that satisfies all parties, while keeping in mind the gravity of this situation. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.