While everyone is talking about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards, we thought we’d turn ur attention to another Will … Will Packer!
On Friday, Packer sat down for an interview with Good Morning America sharing his thoughts on the show overall and of course the slap heard around the globe.
EXCLUSIVE: #Oscars producer Will Packer tells Good Morning America about the frenetic aftermath of actor Will Smith slapping host Chris Rock live on stage on Hollywood’s biggest night. https://t.co/AeoYcGkM32 pic.twitter.com/8z35t8TPFw
— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 1, 2022
“I’ve never felt so immediately devastated,” Packer said of the incident. “It was like someone poured concrete in that room. It was this feeling of what just happened? Is this real? How am I supposed to react, so it sucked the life out of that room and it never came back.”
According to Packer he was not apart of conversations to have Smith removed but upon finding out asked that he be allowed to stay.
“I was advocating what Rock wanted in that time, which was not to physically remove Will Smith at that time,” Packer said. “Because as it has now been explained to me, that was the only option at that point. It has been explained to me that there was a conversation that I was not a part of to ask him to voluntarily leave.”
The executive producer did say police were “prepared” to arrest Smith if Rock decided to press charges, which he did not.
“Chris was being very dismissive of those options,” Packer continued. “He was like, ‘No, I’m fine.’ He was like, ‘No, no, no.’”
Rock has also spoken about the incident during his comedy show in Boston saying he is
“still processing the everything.”
Meanwhile, the numbers are in and Packer and his producing partner Shayla Cowan delivered a spectacular show as the first African American producers of Hollywood’s biggest night.
Sunday’s Oscars drew 16.6 million total viewers on ABC, according to Nielsen’s Live + Same Day national numbers, a significant improvement from 2021’s record low. The 2022 Oscars also saw a leap of 139% in social media activity over the 2021 Oscars and a whooping 22.7 million total social interactions.
Packer and Shayla told HipHollywood on the red carpet before the show that producing the Oscars wasn’t on their bucket list but they were excited and up for the challenge.