Will Smith Called Up Oscars Bosses To Explain And Apologise For Slap
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Smith struck Rock across the face for making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, while presenting the Oscar for Best Documentary on Sunday (27 March).
Smith initially offered a public apology to the organisers of the event as he returned to the stage to collect his own Oscar for Best Actor, and on Tuesday (29 March) he met with leaders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences to discuss the altercation, according to individuals with knowledge of the matter.
Speaking to Variety, one source said the Zoom meeting lasted for roughly 30 minutes and included Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson.
Another source, however, said the conversation was only 'brief', while Deadline reports the Zoom call only lasted six minutes.
Smith is said to have apologised for a second time during the call, as well as acknowledging there would be consequences for his actions and trying to offer an explanation as to why he stormed on stage when Rock made the joke.
Meanwhile, Rubin and Hudson informed Smith a meeting with the Academy’s Board of Governors would be taking place to determine what action would be taken against Smith as a result of his actions.
The governors held their emergency meeting to discuss the events on Wednesday (30 March), though attendees there did not recall Rubin or Hudson mentioning their talk with Smith.
One source at the meeting, cited by Deadline, questioned: “Why would they keep this from us? It only contributes to an atmosphere of suspicion and lack of leadership.”
Another Academy member asked: "What else don’t we know about what’s happening or what happened on Sunday? This lack of transparency undermines our ability to come to a suitable resolution to the whole thing."
On Wednesday, the Academy released a statement saying Smith's actions were in violation of its Standards of Conduct, 'including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and compromising the integrity of the Academy'.
The organisation also announced it had started 'disciplinary proceedings' against the actor. The governors are next set to meet on 18 April, when they will decide what action will be taken against Smith.
Repercussions for the slap may include suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Academy's Bylaws and Standards of Conduct.
LADbible has reached out to Smith and the Academy for comment.