If Will Smith is to be disciplined by SAG-AFTRA for slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, the Union Constitution describes in detail how that punitive process would work. SAG-AFTRA covers actors at the Academy Awards, where Rock was a presenter on Sunday night and, as such, considers it a workplace event subject to disciplinary review.
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Earlier today, Smith resigned as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences after its governing board took disciplinary action against him. “I have responded directly to the notice of the academy’s disciplinary hearing, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct,” he said. “My actions at the presentation of the 94th Academy Awards were shocking, painful and unforgivable,” he said, adding that “any subsequent consequences that the board (governors) deems fit would be accepted.”
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On Monday, SAG-AFTRA said in a statement: “As a union representing performers and other performers at the Oscars, SAG-AFTRA is committed to ensuring that our members always work in a safe environment. Violence or physical abuse in the workplace is never appropriate. “The incident involving Will Smith and Chris Rock at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable. We have contacted the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and ABC about this incident and will work to ensure that this behavior is dealt with appropriately.”
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The union’s statement stated that “SAG-AFTRA does not comment on the disciplinary action of any pending member” – suggesting that the incident be reviewed there for disciplinary action.
Expulsion is the most severe penalty SAG-AFTRA can impose, but other options include suspension, fine, reprimand and condemnation. The probable cause of both unions has a standing committee on the committee – to determine if there is a “probable cause” for violating the union’s constitution – and to the disciplinary committee, but the disciplinary committee’s decision to expel only one member will go automatically. National Board, whose next regular scheduled meeting is April 30.
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Article XIV of the SAG-AFTRA Constitution, which deals with the “discipline of the members”:
A. A member may be reprimanded, condemned, fined, suspended or expelled from the union for any of the following offenses:
1. Violation of any provision of this Constitution, or policy, rules or regulations adopted by the Union or its locals.
2. Involvement in activities against the interests or integrity of the Union, including any of its authorized locals or its members, providing services under the jurisdiction of the Union to any employer declared unfair by the National Board.
B. Procedures for discipline
1. Any member in good standing, any local, national executive director or their nominee, may file a written complaint against the secretary-treasurer or their nominee, describing any information of the offense described in this paragraph.
2. Complaints must be filed within six (6) months of knowing the action or event that gave rise to the complaint. Complaints must state the nature of the crime and the underlying information with reasonable specificity.
3. The National Board, or its nominee, will review the allegations and dismiss them if they are not filed in a timely manner, if the alleging law does not violate the discipline under this Constitution or the lack of sufficient evidence to establish it.
4. If the charges under sub-paragraph B (3) of this paragraph are not dismissed, the Secretary-Treasurer, or their nominee, or the National Executive Director, or their nominee, the accused member or members shall give written notice, an attached copy of the complaint. And set a hearing date at least fourteen (14) days in advance.
5. Before the hearing before the Disciplinary Committee, the National Board may nominate a representative (s) to meet with a member who has been charged with any of the offenses referred to in this paragraph. The representative (s) of the National Board may propose a resolution for the charges which, if accepted by the members, shall be final and binding. If the member does not accept the proposal, a disciplinary committee will be formed to hear and determine the allegations made in this article.
6. The National Board, or a disciplinary committee appointed in accordance with the policy and procedure approved by the National Board, shall hear the complaints and make a decision. At the hearing, the accused will have the opportunity to present evidence and testimony and a representative can assist them. The accused member will be given written notice of decision and punishment, if any. The National Board, or a disciplinary appeal committee nominated by it, has the power to review the disciplinary committee’s decisions and punishments, if any, at its own pace or on the written appeal of its members, the secretary-treasurer, or their nominee, or the national executive director, or their nominee. , Within 21 (21) calendar days of sending notice of the disciplinary committee’s decision. In the case of any appeal, the charges may be upheld, dismissed, the decision may be reversed, or the complaint may be referred to the disciplinary committee for further action.
7. A member may be removed from membership by a two-thirds (2/3) vote of the members of the National Board.
8. The National Board may, under this section, adopt rules governing the investigation of complaints and the conduct of any hearing or appeal
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The last time SAG-AFTRA publicly took action was to discipline a member in early January 2021 when the union’s national board met in a special session to consider disciplinary action against former President Donald Trump, a longtime member and former star. Beginner. He resigned from the union before being fired.
First reported by Deadline, the board found “possible reasons” that Trump had “violated the union’s constitution” and directed that the matter be heard by the SAG-AFTRA’s disciplinary committee. The allegations point to Trump’s role in inciting the January 6 attack on the US Capitol and his “continuing a reckless campaign of misinformation aimed at disrespecting journalists and ultimately threatening the safety of journalists, many of whom are SAG-AFTRA members.” Faced with possible expulsion, Trump resigned, making a disciplinary hearing unnecessary.
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