Will Packer, who produced the 2022 Oscars ceremony that aired Sunday, is speaking out following the fallout surrounding Will Smith slapping Chris Rock onstage.

In a preview clip shared by ABC News ahead of Good Morning America’s interview with Packer that airs in full Friday, the producer said that the LAPD was ready to arrest Smith until Rock declined to press charges.

“They were saying, you know, ‘This is battery,’ was the word they use in that moment,” Packer said. “They said, ‘We will go get him; we are prepared. We’re prepared to get him right now. You can press charges. We can arrest him.’”

He continued, “They were laying out the options, and as they were talking, Chris was being very dismissive of those options. He was like, ‘No, I’m fine.’ He was like, ‘No, no, no.’ Even to the point where I said, ‘Rock, let them finish.’”

Packer also told ABC News that he did not speak with Smith on Oscars night.

The LAPD confirmed in a statement on Sunday that Rock “declined to file a police report.”

This interview will mark Packer’s first public comments about the incident that remains a major topic of debate. Shortly after the telecast ended, Packer tweeted, “Welp…I said it wouldn’t be boring #Oscars.”

On Wednesday, the Academy stated that “disciplinary proceedings” against Smith had begun, which could lead to “suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct.”

In this latest statement, the Academy also said Smith had been asked to leave the show but refused. However, sources close to the situation told The Hollywood Reporter that Smith was not formally asked to leave.

On Sunday, Rock was about to present the Oscar for best documentary when he made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, that seemingly referenced her shaved head. (She suffers from alopecia.) Smith took to the stage and slapped Rock before apologizing to the Academy a short time later during his best actor acceptance speech, during which he did not mention Rock.

In an Instagram post the following day, the King Richard actor called his actions “unacceptable and inexcusable,” in addition to apologizing to the comedian.

Rock kicked off his stand-up comedy tour Wednesday in Boston, where he began his show by saying he is “still kind of processing what happened.”

GMA’s T.J. Holmes interviews Packer during the show Friday.

This article was originally published by The Hollywood Reporter.

Go to Source

Categories: Music News