Oscars producer Will Packer will appear on Good Morning America to address the infamous incident between Will Smith and Chris Rock that aired live Sunday during ABC's telecast of the 94th Academy Awards. In what was the most talked-about moment of the ceremony, Smith walked on stage and struck Rock when the comedian, who was presenting the award for Best Documentary Feature, cracked a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith. According to Variety, a clip of Packer's exclusive interview with ABC's own GMA will show during Thursday's broadcast of World News Tonight before airing in full Friday morning on Good Morning America.
Packer's sitdown with Good Morning America marks the producer's first interview since Smith hit and twice cursed at Rock, an incident the Academy has called "a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television."
The Oscars producer faced his own backlash from social media users on Sunday. Shortly after Smith struck Rock, Packer tweeted of the ceremony, "Welp... I said it wouldn't be boring #Oscars."
"Making jokes about an assault that happened during your show isn't the congratulatory message you think it is," one Twitter user wrote in a reply to Packer's tweet.
In response to the criticism, Packer tweeted, "Black people have a defiant spirit of laughter when it comes to dealing with pain because there has been so much of it. I don't feel the need to elucidate that for you. But I also don't mind being transparent and say that this was a very painful moment for me. On many levels."
Black people have a defiant spirit of laughter when it comes to dealing with pain because there has been so much of it. I don’t feel the need to elucidate that for you. But I also don’t mind being transparent and say that this was a very painful moment for me. On many levels. https://t.co/zzgeKIqrHm— Will Packer (@willpowerpacker) March 28, 2022
In a statement Wednesday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said it started disciplinary proceedings against Smith for violating its Standards of Conduct, including "inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and compromising the integrity of the Academy."
"Mr. Smith's actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television," the statement read. "Mr. Rock, we apologize to you for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience in that moment. We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event."
Smith on Monday issued his apology to Rock over Instagram, calling violence in all forms "poisonous and destructive" and his actions at the Oscars "unacceptable and inexcusable."
Packer's interview with Good Morning America airs Friday morning on ABC.0comments