Oscars Producer Says LAPD Was Ready to Arrest Will Smith Over Chris Rock Smack

The Los Angeles Police Department was ready to arrest Will Smith after the Best Actor winner smacked Chris Rock at the Oscars, according to Oscars producer Will Packer. In his first televised interview with Good Morning America about the incident, Packer said the LAPD was on scene and "prepared" to arrest Smith if Rock pressed charges for the battery that occurred live on air during Sunday's broadcast of the 94th Academy Awards. Shortly after Smith was awarded his first Best Actor Oscar for King Richard on Sunday night, the LAPD released a statement saying Rock declined to file a police report

"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,'" Packer said in a preview of the interview airing Friday on GMA (via Variety). "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."

When addressing the smack on Sunday, the LAPD said "investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program. The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report." 

In the clip, Packer said he did not directly speak to Smith after he hit Rock. The Academy said in a statement Wednesday that Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, but according to Deadline, it was only "suggested" by Oscar officials that the King Richard actor leave the Dolby Theatre after Academy president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson conferred with Smith's representative. 

Smith is currently facing disciplinary action from the Academy over what the AMPAS condemned as "a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television." On Wednesday, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Board of Governors said it initiated disciplinary proceedings against Smith for violating the Academy's Standards of Conduct, including "inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and compromising the integrity of the Academy." 

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