On at about 12:32:04 PM, Oscars Producer Will Packer Says LAPD Was ‘Prepared’ to Arrest Will Smith After He Slapped Chris Rock was updated.
Will Smith could have been arrested and detained at the end of Hollywood's greatest night.
Will Packer, the Oscars producer, spoke to Good Morning America about Smith's onstage attack on Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards. Packer told T.J. Holmes of GMA that he did not talk with Smith the night of the incident, but that he had communicated with both Rock and the Los Angeles Police Department, which was fully "prepared" to arrest Smith.
"They were saying, 'You know, this is batteries,'" said one of them at the time. We'll go grab him, they said. We have everything we need. We're all set to capture him right now. Packer said in a preview of the interview, which airs Friday, "You may press charges, and we can arrest him." "They were outlining the possibilities." And as they were conversing, Chris seemed dismissive of those possibilities.
'No, no, no, I'm alright,' he said. Even to the point of saying, 'Rock, let them finish.' 'Would you wish us to take any action?' the LAPD officers asked after they had laid out his options. 'No,' he replied. 'No,' he said.'
ABC NEWS EXCLUSIVE | TOMORROW ON GMA: #Oscars producer Will Packer speaks out on what happened behind the scenes, moments after actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage. pic.twitter.com/LnFnNImFJ1— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 31, 2022
The LAPD issued a statement shortly after Smith's attack confirming Rock's decision not to seek charges.
The incident occurred just after Rock took the stage at the Oscars to deliver the Best Documentary Award. Before introducing the nominees, the comedian and former Oscars presenter cracked a few jokes aimed at the audience. He told Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, at one point that he couldn't wait to see her in GI Jane 2—an apparent reference to Pinkett-shaved Smith's head. Smith stepped on stage seconds after making the joke and slapped Rock across the face. "Keep my wife's name out of your fucking mouth!" Smith exclaimed as he returned to his seat.
Last summer, Pinkett-Smith began shaving her head, just before she revealed her alopecia diagnosis.
Whether Smith was asked to leave the ceremony following the slap has been the subject of different reporting. According to the Academy, Smith was requested to leave the Dolby Theater but refused, but individuals present at the ceremony believe Smith was never formally asked to leave.
Smith, who won Best Actor for King Richard at the conclusion of the night, has subsequently apologized to Rock. The Academy has yet to decide whether or not Smith will face disciplinary punishment as a result of the attack. He could be suspended or expelled, according to reports.
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