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WILL SMITH: Oscars Producer Provides More Backstage Details

94th Annual Academy Awards - Show

Photo: Getty Images

Oscars producer Will Packer spoke with Good Morning America's T.J. Holmes today (Friday) and provided more details about the moments following the Will Smith slap incident.

Packer says he, like everyone else at the Dolby Theater, initially thought Smith and Chris Rock were doing a bit, but understood it was real once Smith started yelling at Rock up on stage. Packer met Rock backstage immediately after the incident and said Rock was still in "joke mode" but was clearly in shock. He says he asked him if Smith really hit him and Rock responded, "I just took a punch from Muhammad Ali."

Packer say he and Rock spoke with LAPD who said they could arrest Smith for battery if Rock wanted to press charges, but the comedian was dismissive and said, "No, I'm fine." Packer added that Smith was going to be forcibly removed from the show before the Best Actor award was given out, but he told the Academy leadership that he should be allowed to stay because Rock said it was OK. He says, "I was advocating what Rock wanted in that time, which was not to physically remove Will Smith." (People)

Meanwhile, comedian Marlon Wayans shared an old video of his brother Shawn Wayans seemingly predicting the attack on Chris Rock at the 2000 MTV Video Music Awards. In the clip, Shawn impersonates Chris Rock and insults stars like Britney SpearsJay-Z, and Diddy, before they all bum-rush the stage and attack him. Will Smith is also shown laughing in the audience. 

Hot Takes:

  • Will and Chris still have not spoken.
  • Smith met with the Academy via Zoom on Thursday and apologized again.
  • Academy leaders will meet again on April 15th, at which point a decision on discipline will likely be made. 

Friday, April 1, 2022 - 10:16 AM

OSCARS: Producer says Will Smith was not arrested or forced to leave because it's not what Chris Rock wanted.

Publish Date Timestamp

Fri, 04/01/2022 - 10:16

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