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Will Packer labels Will Smith slapping Chris Rock as ‘very painful moment’

NY Premiere of 'The Photograph'
Will Packer

Will Packer has weighed in on Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards.

During the Oscars telecast on Sunday night, presenter Rock made a joke referring to actress Jada Pinkett Smith’s baldness, to which husband Smith walked on stage and physically confronted him.

Following the show, Packer – who produced the ceremony – took to Twitter and wrote, “Welp…I said it wouldn’t be boring.”

The producer’s initial response was met with criticism, with one user responding, “Making jokes about an assault that happened during your show isn’t the congratulatory message you think it is.”

Quoting this response, Packer replied: “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.”

Smith apologised to the Academy and his fellow nominees for his behaviour during his Best Actor acceptance speech later in the evening.

On Monday night, he followed it up with a statement on Instagram in which he admitted he “deeply regret(s)” his “unacceptable and inexcusable” reaction to the joke.

Representatives for the Academy are to conduct a formal review of the incident.

– Cover Media