Oscars producer Will Packer says Los Angeles police are ready to arrest Will Smith after Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars.
“They were saying, you know, it’s drums, that’s a word they used at the time,” Packer said in a clip released by ABC News Thursday night of an interview he took. granted to hello america.
“They said ‘We’re going to get him. We’re ready. We’re ready to get him right away. You can press charges, we can arrest him.’ They were laying out the options.”
But Packer said Rock was “very dismissive” of the idea.
“He was like, ‘No, no, no, I’m fine,'” Packer said. “And even to the point where I said, ‘Rock, let them finish. The LAPD officers finished laying out his options and they said, “Do you want us to take action?” And he said no.”
The LAPD said in a statement after Sunday night’s ceremony that it was aware of the incident and that Rock declined to file a police report. The department declined to comment on Thursday for Packer’s interview, a longer version of which will air Friday morning.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences met on Wednesday to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Smith for violating band standards of conduct. Smith could be suspended, expelled or otherwise sanctioned.
The academy said in a statement that: “Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Academy Awards were a deeply shocking and traumatic event to witness in person and on television.”
Without giving details, the academy said Smith was asked to leave the ceremony at the Dolby Theater, but declined.
Smith came out of his front row seat on stage and slapped Rock after a joke Rock made about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, while he was on stage to present the Best Documentary Oscar.
On Monday, Smith issued an apology to Rock, the academy and viewers, saying “I was out of line and wrong.”
The academy said Smith was given the opportunity to defend himself in a written response before the board meets again on April 18.
Rock spoke publicly about the incident for the first time, but only briefly, at the start of a Wednesday night stand-up show in Boston, where he was greeted with a thunderous standing ovation. He said he was “still processing what happened”.