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The Academy Just Moved Up Will Smith's Oscar Slap Hearing & He Could Still Face Punishment

He may have resigned but they're not done with him.

Global Staff Writer
Will Smith. Right: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Will Smith. Right: Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Will Smith will get his hearing for slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars sooner than expected, and it's entirely because he resigned from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences.

Smith's hearing date with the Academy has been moved up to this Friday, April 8, Academy President David Rubin said in a letter on Wednesday. That's 10 days sooner than originally planned.

Smith has already resigned from the Academy, but it seems he could still face other sanctions for the incident, although Rubin didn't say what that might involve.

Rubin explained in the letter that he had to give Smith 15 days of notice to prepare for the hearing, because expulsion from the Academy was on the table at the time. But once Smith expelled himself, that timeline was no longer legally necessary.

Smith still holds the Oscar for Best Actor from this year. He received that award less than an hour after slapping Rock on stage for making a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's bald head.

Smith may already be facing career consequences for the slap, with big companies like Netflix and Apple reportedly backing away from his future projects.

The day after the incident, Smith issued an apology to Rock from his Instagram account, calling his actions "unacceptable and inexcusable."

He resigned from the Academy last week, although the Academy said at the time that it would still "move forward" with its investigation into the slap.

"I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work," Smith said in announcing his resignation. "I am heartbroken."

He added that he was ready to accept whatever further consequences the Academy might decide on.

Chris Rock has not pressed charges in the case and has been reluctant to talk about it so far.

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