The Academy May Make A Decision About Will Smith Sooner Than We Thought

Amidst the fallout from Will Smith's televised slap of Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars was his own resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. After failing to include Rock in his ensuing apology during his acceptance speech for best actor, Smith instead took to Instagram the next day to do so. Smith wrote on March 28 that his physical altercation with Rock was "unacceptable and inexcusable," adding that he wanted to "publicly apologize to you, Chris." However, many felt it was a case of "too little, too late," as the backlash against Smith raged on in the days following. "I'd have announced this morning that I was suing Will for $200 million because that video is gonna be there forever ... that insult is gonna last a very long time," iconic actor and comedian Jim Carrey told Gayle King in a March 29 interview. 

Furthermore, the Academy announced on March 28 that they had opened a formal review into Smith's actions on Oscar night, one that could result in his suspension or expulsion, per Billboard. Unexpectedly, Smith resigned from the Academy first via a press statement on April 1 (per Variety). Announcing his intention as putting "the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements," Smith also stated that he will "accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate." 

As Smith — and the whole world — wait on said consequences, it seems the Academy will be reaching their decision much sooner than previously anticipated.

Will Smith seeks treatment for stress as Academy fate looms closer

Will Smith's speedy resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has moved up the timetable on his disciplinary proceedings. In a letter to the Academy's Board of Governors (obtained by Variety), Academy president David Rubin shifted the date for the board "to address possible sanctions for Will Smith in response to his actions during the Oscars broadcast on March 27" from April 18 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 explained. Since the actor's April 1 resignation took this off the table, Rubin reasoned, "It is in the best interest of all involved for this to be handled in a timely fashion."

As for Smith, The Sun reported on April 2 that the "King Richard" star will be checking into a retreat for emotional recovery. "The impact of the backlash has hit Will hard, so he will be getting help on dealing with stress," an insider told the outlet, calling this "unquestionably the battle of his career." For Smith fans out there, they can rest easy knowing the star is receiving the best of care. "It will be a high-end retreat used by the rich and famous and he will be doing a lot of soul searching and working out how he can move forward," the source shared.