Smith hit Rock during his presenting segment live on-stage during the ceremony after Rock appeared to poke fun of Jada Pinkett-Smith’s shaved head, comparing her to “GI Jane.” Pinkett-Smith, who is married to Will, previously revealed she shaved her head due to hair loss associated with alopecia, an autoimmune condition. After hitting Rock, Smith shouted, “Keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth.” The former DCEU star, who also won an Oscar that night for his role in drama movie King Richard, reportedly refused the Academy’s request to leave.
On Monday, March 28, the day after the ceremony, the Academy announced that it will be conducting a formal review of Smith’s behaviour, saying in a statement that it would “explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law.” The action movie actor then resigned from the Academy on Friday, April 1, and said in a statement that he had “directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for [his] conduct.”
According to a letter obtained by CNN, the Academy’s board meeting with Smith was initially scheduled for April 18 – but his voluntary resignation enabled them to move the meeting up. “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 reads.
“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.” However, according to the Academy’s letter, “suspension or expulsion are no longer a possibility,” which means that “the legally prescribed timetable no longer applies.”
The new board meeting will take place Friday, April 8, at 09:00 PST. “It is in the best interest of all involved for this to be handled in a timely fashion,” David Rubin, president of The Academy, wrote in the letter.