Members of the Los Angeles Police Department were on hand at the 2022 Oscars, ready to detain Will Smith after he slapped Chris Rock onstage during the ceremony, according to the show’s producer.
In a sneak peek of an upcoming Good Morning America episode, Oscars producer Will Packer claims that the LAPD was on the scene and prepared to arrest the King Richard Oscar winner if Rock wanted to pursue charges.
“They were saying, you know, this is battery, was a word they used in that moment. They said, ‘We will go get him. We are prepared. We’re prepared to get him right now. You can press charges, we can arrest him.”
Rock didn’t press charges against Smith, and Packer described how his encounter with the cops played out immediately following the slap in the immediate wake of Rock’s decision not to pursue a case.
“They were laying out the options. And as they were talking, Chris was — he was being very dismissive of those options. He was like, ‘No, no, no, I’m fine.’ And even to the point where I said, ‘Rock, let them finish.’ The LAPD officers finished laying out what his options were and they said, ‘Would you like us to take any action?’ And he said no. He said no.”
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
There are conflicting reports about how the Academy dealt with Smith’s slap behind the scenes of the event. According to a recent statement from the Academy, Smith was asked to leave the event, but he refused. However, inside sources claimed that Smith was never asked to formally depart from the ceremony after all.
However, representatives for the Academy have stated that disciplinary measures have begun and may result in Smith’s suspension or even expulsion from the organization.