As reports surfaced that Will Smith met with senior Academy Members, the Oscars producer says LAPD were ready to arrest the actor.
Will Smith has reportedly apologized to The Oscars for slapping Chris Rock. The apology happened during 30 minute Zoom call with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences earlier this week, CNN tweeted, adding that the Academy also “heard him out.” The organization responded by saying his “actions would have consequences.” HollywoodLife has reached out to The Academy for comment.
2/2) Will Smith met with the Academy members “for 30 minutes via Zoom where he apologized and they heard him out,” the source said tells @Chloe_Melas.
“They told him his actions would have consequences,” the source continued.
— Elizabeth Joseph (@ElizabethCNN) March 31, 2022
The producer of the Oscars, Will Packer, has also spoken out — saying that the Los Angeles Police Department was ready to arrest Smith after the unexpected incident. “[Police] said, ‘We will go get him, we are prepared. We can go get him right now…you can press charges, we can arrest him,’ — they were laying out the options,” Packer said in a preview clip in his Good Morning America interview, set to air on Friday, April 1.
“As they were talking, Chris was being very dismissive of those options. He was like, ‘I’m fine’, saying ‘no, no, no’…I said Rock, let them finish,” Packer explained. “They said, ‘would you like us to take any action?’ and [Rock] said ‘no.” Packer also said that he did not speak to Will directly during the Broadcast, as some reports previously indicated.
Thousand words right now when Will Smith slaps Chris Rock pic.twitter.com/O31850Qx74
— Reda (@RedaMor_) March 28, 2022
Whether or not Smith was asked to leave after the slap — which happened after Rock made an inappropriate joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith‘s bald head, which is as a result of alopecia — remains unclear. The Academy stated on March 30th that they did ask Smith to leave, with reports saying that the request came from Academy President David Rubin and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson. Conflicting reports emerged on March 31, however, that Will was not asked to leave directly — but rather, a heated conversation took place backstage with his representatives.
Will was, of course, nominated that evening for his role in King Richard, winning the trophy for Best Actor. He apologized during his emotionally charged speech, following up with a statement to his Instagram page. “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” he wrote the day after the Oscars.
“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness,” he also said. “I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.”
Chris Rock briefly addressed the incident during his first stand-up show back, which took place in Boston on March 30. He told the audience he was “still processing” what happened on-stage. “I don’t have a bunch of s— about what happened,” he said her audio from Variety. “I had like a whole show I wrote before this weekend. I’m still kinda processing what happened. So at some point, I’ll talk about that s–. So I’m gonna tell some jokes It’s nice to be out.”