Will Smith could lose Oscar within hours as Academy 'split' over Chris Rock slap
The meeting to decide whether Smith will keep his Oscar was moved forward.
Will Smith is set to find out on Friday (8 April) whether he will have his Oscar taken off him for slapping Chris Rock at the awards ceremony last month.
The actor grabbed the headlines for all the wrong reasons after he walked on stage and hit Chris Rock for a joke he made about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
Just moments later, the 53-year-old won his first-ever Oscar as he picked up the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in King Richard.
Days later, Smith resigned from the Academy because of his actions, but the board will now decide whether he is allowed to keep his Oscar or not, with its 54 members apparently "completely split" on what to do.
The meeting for this decision had been due to take place on 18 April, but it was announced earlier this week that the meeting would be moved forward to Friday.
In a letter, David Rubin, the president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, told the board:
"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.
"Following Mr Smith's resignation of his Academy membership on Friday, 1 April, suspension or expulsion are no longer a possibility, and the legally prescribed timetable no longer applies.
"It is in the best interest of all involved for this to be handled in a timely fashion."
But one board member has reportedly claimed that the Academy is divided ahead of the meeting.
A source told The Sun:
"The members - of which there are over 9,000, with hundreds of WhatsApp groups flying about - are completely split.
The source pointed out though that it could be viewed as "rank hypocrisy" for Smith to have his Oscar rescinded when "convicted sexual predator Harvey Weinstein and fugitive child rapist Roman Polanski" both still have their awards.
"But, as we all know, Hollywood is a law unto itself, frankly," they added.
The Academy has only ever rescinded one Oscar in its history.
This was in 1969 when it was revealed that the Best Documentary winner Young Americans had actually been released in 1967.