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Inside the Oscars' Will Smith slap inaction: “Officially, we don’t want you to leave. We want you to stay," producer Will Packer reportedly told the actor

The Los Angeles Times' Glenn Whipp and Josh Rottenberg spoke to more a dozen people who were near Smith at the 94th Academy Awards or who had direct knowledge of what transpired after Smith slapped Chris Rock. According to The Times, after a shaken Rock declined to press charges backstage, the Academy tried to address whether Smith should be removed. "When the show broke for commercial, some 10 minutes after The Slap, academy CEO Dawn Hudson and President David Rubin immediately sprang from their seats in the audience and headed backstage," The Times reports. "After first making sure that Rock was OK, they found Smith’s longtime publicist, Meredith O’Sullivan. An academy lawyer joined them in a private room. Furious over Smith’s stunning breach of decorum and concerned it would overshadow the entire show, an industry source said academy leaders told O’Sullivan they wanted the actor to leave the Dolby Theatre as soon as possible. The message, they thought, was unequivocal. And it was mutually agreed upon that O’Sullivan would deliver that request to Smith during the next commercial break." But other sources say the message was more ambiguous, as if it was Smith's decision to leave. During the third commercial break after The Slap and the last before the Best Actor award would be handed out, "Packer came racing across the room with that urgent message: 'Officially, we don’t want you to leave. We want you to stay,'" a source tells The Times. Meanwhile, in his Good Morning America interview, Packer said he didn’t speak directly with Smith during the show. "But, to O’Sullivan and Smith, the message was clear: The academy wanted Smith to stay. The matter was settled," says The Times.
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Oscars producer Will Packer: Will Smith thought speech would make slap ‘better’

Oscars producer Will Packer defended the standing ovation Will Smith received for his Best Actor win and said the actor aimed to make the tense situation “better” with his acceptance speech. “It wasn’t like this was somebody they didn’t know. Doesn’t make anything he did right or excuse his behavior at all,” Packer said on “Good Morning America” Friday, “but I think the people in that room stood up stood up for somebody that they knew, who was a peer, who was a friend, who was a brother, who has a three-decades-plus career of being the opposite of what we saw...
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LAPD was 'prepared' to arrest Will Smith for slapping Chris Rock, says Oscars producer Will Packer

Will Packer, who produced this year's Oscars, is opening up about the now-infamous moment in which Will Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage during Sunday's awards show. In a preview clip from an interview with Good Morning America airing in full on Friday, Packer said that Los Angeles police were on hand and "prepared" to arrest Smith, but Rock was "very dismissive" about pressing charges against him.
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Chris Rock ‘Saved’ the 2022 Oscars After Will Smith Slap, Producer Will Packer Says: Moments Were ‘Overshadowed’

The show must go on. Oscars producer Will Packer wasn't sure whether the awards ceremony could recover after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage. Packer, 47, opened up about the feeling inside of the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles following the jaw-dropping altercation, telling Good Morning America in an interview that aired on Friday, […]
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Police Were Prepared to Arrest Will Smith on Oscars Night, Producer Will Packer Says

Click here to read the full article. Will Packer, who produced the 2022 Oscars ceremony that aired Sunday, is speaking out following the fallout surrounding Will Smith slapping Chris Rock onstage. In a preview clip shared by ABC News ahead of Good Morning America’s interview with Packer that airs in full Friday, the producer said that the LAPD was ready to arrest Smith until Rock declined to press charges. “They were saying, you know, ‘This is battery,’ was the word they use in that moment,” Packer said. “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...
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Oscars producer Will Packer: LAPD was "prepared" to arrest Will Smith, but Chris Rock was "dismissive" about pressing charges

"They were saying, you know, this is battery was the word they use in that moment," Packer said in an interview with Good Morning America. "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. They were laying out the options, and as they were talking, Chris was being very dismissive of those options. He was like, 'No, I'm fine.' He was like, 'No, no, no.'" In a statement released by the LAPD Sunday night, "investigative entities were aware" of the incident that happened between Rock and Smith during the show, but "the individual involved has declined to file a police report."
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The LAPD Arrived At The Oscars All Ready To Go ‘Get’ Will Smith For ‘Battery,’ According To Producer Will Packer

The Oscars weren’t boring this year, that’s for sure. Still, the powers that are attempting to quell the controversy that won’t stop swirling after Will Smith smacked Chris Rock for a GI Jane joke about Jada Pinkett (who struggles with alopecia). It truly was the slap heard ’round the world, and the incident prompted approximately 550,000 people (who weren’t already watching) to turn on the broadcast. Likewise, the LAPD descended upon the scene.
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