BREAKING NEWS

Behind-The-Scenes: Will Smith Urged By Lawyers, Publicist To Resign To Preempt Harsher Discipline—He 'Fell On His Sword' To Keep Oscar

will smith urged by lawyers publicist resign
Source: mega

Apr. 1 2022, Published 7:46 p.m. ET

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Will Smith’s late Friday night decision to quit the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after that slap was an attempt to preempt any discipline so as to be seen to have penalized himself, RadarOnline.com has learned.

Smith, lawyers and his advisors, including publicist Meredith O. Sullivan, have been hunkered down in strategy sessions as the fallout to the Oscar winner’s behavior at the ceremony on March 27.

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will smith urged by lawyers publicist resign
Source: mega

In a statement released late Friday, Smith pre-empted the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Board of Governors self-described “disciplinary proceedings.” He said in a statement:

"I have directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct. My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable. The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home. 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. I am heartbroken. I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film. So, I am resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate. Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason."

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A source told Radar: “Ever since he slapped Chris, Will has been in constant crisis talks. He knew he had to fall on his sword if he was to keep his Oscar. By pre-empting the Board of Governors, he’s taken the initiative — and it can be argued others that have been expelled, like Harvey Weinstein, did far graver acts than Will.”

The film academy's disciplinary measures — in addition to expulsion or suspension of membership — "may include private reprimand, public reprimand, temporary or permanent loss of privileges to attend and participate in Academy events or activities, temporary or permanent loss of eligibility to receive or hold or revocation of Academy awards or honors, temporary or permanent loss of eligibility to hold Academy service and volunteer roles, or other sanctions that the Academy in its sole discretion may deem appropriate."

will smith urged by lawyers publicist resign
Source: mega
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The organization said this week it had "initiated disciplinary proceedings" against Smith for violations of its standards of conduct, a code that was updated in late 2017 in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. The code specifically prohibits "abusive or threatening behavior."

The film academy's disciplinary measures — in addition to expulsion or suspension of membership — "may include private reprimand, public reprimand, temporary or permanent loss of privileges to attend and participate in Academy events or activities, temporary or permanent loss of eligibility to receive or hold or revocation of Academy awards or honors, temporary or permanent loss of eligibility to hold Academy service and volunteer roles, or other sanctions that the Academy in its sole discretion may deem appropriate."

“Smith is hoping his announcement limits any further disciplinary measures. He made the decision of self-expulsion or suspension himself. Now the Academy is forced to decide if it should revoke his Oscar. But given Weinstein and Roman Polanski still have their trophies, if the academy pulled that move, it would seem like a significant overreach. In some way, Will has controlled the narrative ahead of the academy’s decision.”

While three people — actors George C. Scott and Marlon Brando and "The Informer" screenwriter Dudley Nichols — have declined to accept their awards, only one Oscar has been taken back: The only time the academy ever revoked an Oscar is for a 1969 documentary, "Young Americans," which turned out to be ineligible for that year's honor.

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