Oscars producer Will Packer on Thursday said Los Angeles police were ready to arrest Will Smith after the actor slapped Chris Rock on the Academy Awards stage.
In a clip released by ABC News on Thursday night, Packer said, “They were saying, you know, this is battery, was a word they used at that moment.”
Also read: Academy says Will Smith refused to leave Oscars as it mulls disciplinary action
“They said we will go get him. We are prepared. We’re prepared to get him right now. You can press charges, we can arrest him. They were laying out the options,” he added.
But Packer said Rock was “very dismissive” of the idea.
“He was like, ‘No, no, no, I’m fine,” Packer said.
Also read: Chris Rock holds first show since getting slapped by Will Smith at Oscars
“And even to the point where I said, ‘Rock, let them finish.’ The LAPD officers finished laying out what his options were and they said, ‘Would you like us to take any action?’ And he said no.”
In a statement, the LAPD said that they were aware of the incident, and that Rock had declined to file a police report. The department declined comment on Thursday on Packer’s interview, a longer version of which will air on Friday morning.
Also read: Viral video shows Jada Pinkett Smith laughing after Will smacked Chris Rock
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences met on Wednesday to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Smith for violations against the group’s standards of conduct. Smith could be suspended, expelled or otherwise sanctioned.
In a statement, the academy said, “Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television.”
Also read: O.J. Simpson understands why Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at Oscars 2022
Without giving specifics, the academy said Smith was asked to leave the ceremony at the Dolby Theatre, but refused to do so.
Smith strode from his front row seat onto the stage and slapped Rock after a joke Rock made about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, when he was on stage to present the Oscar for best documentary.
Also read: BAFTA says Will Smith’s Oscar slap intolerable, amid Academy investigation
On Monday, Smith issued an apology to Rock, the academy and to viewers, saying “I was out of line and I was wrong.”
The academy said Smith has the opportunity to defend himself in a written response before the board meets again on April 18.
Rock publicly addressed the incident for the first time, but only briefly, at the beginning of a standup show on Wednesday night in Boston, where he was greeted by a thunderous standing ovation. He said “I’m still kind of processing what happened.”