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Oscars Producer Will Packer Explains What Was Going On Behind The Scenes After Will Smith Slapped Chris Rock

Will Smith at the Oscars
(Image credit: ABC)

The “Oscars slap” is probably a moment that will never be forgotten in the history of the Academy Awards, no matter how many people probably wish it could be lost to time.  A lot has been said about what happened that night after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock, following a joke Smith found offensive. This story still isn’t entirely over, but now the producer of the Oscar ceremony has spoken out about what happened behind the scenes after the slap happened. He says The LAPD gave Rock a list of potential options for ways they could proceed criminally, and the comedian turned them all down.

It’s already been reported that Chris Rock declined to press charges against Will Smith for the physical altercation that took place live on the Oscar stage just as Rock was getting ready to present the award for Best Documentary Feature. Oscars producer Will Packer told ABC the conversation between Rock and the LAPD took place in his office, and Rock was so dismissive of the idea of pressing charges, Packer had to step in just to let the cops finish talking. The producer explained… 

They were saying, you know, this is ‘battery’, was the word they used in that moment. They said ‘We will go get him. We’re prepared. We’re prepared to get him right now. You can press charges, we can arrest him. They were laying out the options’ And as they were talking Chris was being very dismissive of those options. He said ‘No ,no I’m fine. No, no.’ And even to the point where I said ‘Rock, let them finish.’ Let the LAPD officers finish laying out what his options were. And they said ‘Would you like us to take any action?’ And he said 'no.'

Technically, the slap did constitute battery, but Chris Rock apparently never even considered the idea of pressing charges or doing anything that the LAPD suggested as a course of action. It’s not even clear what the other options even were, but the comedian was apparently uninterested in any police intervention. Smith has since publicly apologized to Rock on social media but it’s unclear if the two have spoken directly. Packer says they did not interact after the altercation on Oscar night.

But the LAPD was apparently more than willing to arrest Will Smith for battery. Will Packer says the cops were “willing to go get him right now.” One imagines police entering one of the Oscar afterparties and arresting the man who had just won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in King Richard

That’s not to say Will Smith will not have to deal with the consequences of his actions. While there are conflicting reports as to whether or not Smith was asked to leave the ceremony following the slap, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is considering disciplinary action against Smith that could include expelling him from the Academy and/or stripping him of his Oscar. Smith will reportedly be given two weeks notice before any vote is taken. 

Dirk Libbey
Dirk Libbey

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.