LAPD was ‘ready’ to arrest Will Smith after slapping Chris Rock

Will Smith received the Best Actor award for “King Richard” on stage on March 27, 2022 at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California during the 94th Oscars.

Robin Beck | AFP | Getty Images

Will Packer, who produced the 2022 Academy Awards, talks about Sunday’s incident where Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage.

In a preview clip of ABC’s Good Morning America interview with Packer, which will air in full on Friday, the producer says the Los Angeles Police Department was ready to arrest the Oscar-winning actor until Rock refused to press charges.

“They were saying, you know, at the moment they used the word battery,” Packer said in the clip. “They said we’ll take him; we’re ready. We’re ready to get him now. You can complain. We can arrest him. They were making options, and while they were talking, Chris was too bad. He said, ‘No, I’m fine.’ He was, “No, no, no.”

Packer told GMA he did not speak to Smith on the night of the Oscars.

On Wednesday, the organization behind the Oscars said its board of governors had initiated a disciplinary action against Smith for violating the group’s conduct standards. The next meeting of the board on 18 April will decide what action it will take, if any, including a stay or expulsion.

According to the academy, Smith was asked to leave the ceremony, but refused. However, the Hollywood Reporter reported that Smith was not officially asked to step down, citing several sources.

Smith apologized to the academy and his fellow nominees during his acceptance speech on Sunday, and publicly apologized to Rock via social media on Monday.