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After Will Smith Apologized For The Slap, Oscars Producer Will Packer Has A Message For The Actor

While it’s been months since the 2022 Academy Awards, the fallout from one particular moment continues to be seen. Namely when Will Smith walked on stage and slapped Chris Rock on national television, shortly before winning the Best Actor Oscar. And after Smith recently apologized for the slap, Oscars producer Will Packer has a message for the actor.

Prior to the infamous slap, Will Smith was an A-lister who had been America’s sweetheart for decades. This is partly why the internet broke when he slapped Chris Rock, after the comedian made a joke at the expense of his wife Jada Pinkett Smith. Smith recently posted a long video apologizing for his actions, which promptly went viral. Academy Awards producer Will Packer was recently asked by ET about said apology, and he got honest by saying:

I love the fact that he's being so transparent about his process. Clearly he is going through his own personal rehabilitation. I’m pulling for him. I’m pulling for him to continue his own process, but I think this is for him. He needs to do it. I’m wishing you the best, brother.

Talk about an encouraging message. While plenty of folks out there have admonished Will Smith’s actions at the Academy Awards, it looks like the program’s producer is feeling a bit more hopeful about Will Smith after the incident with Chris Rock. We’ll just have to wait and see if more folks change their tune in the wake of this latest apology.

Will Packer’s comments to ET come from the New York Premiere of Idris Elba’s new movie Beast, of which he is a producer. But the conversation turned to Will Smith’s ongoing controversy, and the viral apology that he issued online to both Chris Rock and the general public. And Packer seemingly wants Smith to know that, despite the viral slap incident, he’s rooting for the recent Academy Award winning actor. 

Despite the 2022 Oscars happening back in March, the discourse surrounding Will Smith, Chris Rick, and the slap hasn’t really slowed down. It’s likely for this reason that the King Richard actor recently recorded a long video on social media apologizing to everyone for his actions. Although for his part, Rock seemingly hasn’t reacted to this latest viral update about their televised scuffle. As a reminder, you can see that clip below:

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While Chris Rock has been touring with his stand-up show and selling out venues, Will Smith has been largely absent from the public eye since the slap occurred. A number of his upcoming acting projects were put on hold, while he dropped out of the Film Academy and was banned from attending the Oscars for a decade. 

Will Smith’s next movie Emancipation is expected to arrive sometime in 2023. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.