The event producer said in an interview broadcast on Friday that the professionalism and composure that comedian Chris Rock displayed after Will Smith slapped him on the Oscars stage kept the party going.
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“Chris handled that moment with such elegance and poise that we were able to continue the show,” Will Packer told ABC.
After he was slapped, the comedian quickly handcuffed him and, as expected, presented the trophy for Best Documentary. He then preferred to play appeasement, refusing to file a complaint against Will Smith that the police were willing to arrest for his gesture.
“It kind of allowed us to continue the show, which is what we wanted to do,” Will Packer said.
It was a joke from Chris Rock about the cropped hair of Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith’s wife, who has an illness that has caused significant hair loss, sparking the scandal Sunday night.
Will Smith suddenly took the stage and slapped Chris Rock under the eyes of a stunned celebrity and onlooker.
The 53-year-old actor was rewarded shortly after the Best Actor Oscar incident for his role in ‘The Williams Method’.
The Academy has initiated disciplinary proceedings against Will Smith and confirmed that he was asked to leave the room after the slap, but the actor refused.
Will Packer explained on ABC that he recommended that Will Smith not be deported after speaking with Chris Rock.
“I immediately went to see the academy leaders who were there and said: +Chris Rock doesn’t want that +. I said: +Rock was very clear he didn’t want to make the situation worse +,” said the producer.
According to him, Chris Rock explicitly refused to allow the police to arrest Will Smith, and declined to file a complaint against him.
Since then, Will Smith has publicly apologized to Chris Rock and the Oscar Academy, saying his behavior was “unacceptable and unforgivable”.
Chris Rock first spoke on the subject on Wednesday night, shortly after he took the stage for a show in Boston.
“I’m still digesting what happened. So at some point I’m going to talk about these things. And it’s going to be serious and funny.
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