What Took Place Backstage after Will Smith Slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars?

After celebrity actor Will Smith hit comedian Chris Rock on stage to a stunned audience, producer of Oscars 2022, Will Packer, revealed what happened behind the scenes on the fateful celebrity night.

Packer said that the Los Angeles Police Department was ready to arrest Smith after he walked on stage, and slapped Rock for making a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, his wife. He made the statement in an interview with TJ Holmes, which aired Friday on “Good Morning America.”

When Rock entered the stage to present the award for outstanding documentary feature, Packer, who oversaw the first all-Black production team for the Oscars, said he was sure Rock would make the audience laugh. As things took a turn, Packer said his “heart plummeted.”

Just moments after the incident, Packer recalls requesting Rock to leave the stage. Rock faced him and said that he had just got punched by Muhammad Ali. He was cracking jokes, but it was obvious he was reeling from the shock.

The producer said that the LAPD, who spoke to him in his office, laid out Chris’ rights in detail. They termed the incident as “battery,’ and wanted to arrest him once Rock pressed charges on Smith.

Rock was “dismissive” of the options police gave, according to Packer, saying he was “fine.” Smith was asked to leave by the Academy, but he refused, according to a statement released Wednesday.

While Rock has remained tight-lipped on what happened between him and Smith, he did tell an audience at his first comedy act since the Oscars on Wednesday night that he is still “processing what happened” and that he will speak about it later.

However, Smith’s slapping of Chris Rock during the Oscars seems to be supported by New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who said the ‘King Richard’ actor ought to keep his prize because he was having a ‘poor day.’

Adams said he does not condone the hit, but he understands why the actor did it. When he was mocked on TV, the mayor said he had to bite his tongue. He also said that Smith should not forego his award and that everyone had bad days.

{Photo Credit: DFree)

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