Deliberations on an official reaction to Will Smith’s slapping of Chris Rock continues, as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is currently evaluating the situation. As the Oscars’ governing board announced “disciplinary proceedings” were underway, the claim was made that Smith was asked to leave the ceremony after the incident, but refused. However, a new counterclaim has come out, with unnamed sources alleging that this request was never made.
The sources in question told their story to TMZ, which paints a different picture than the one The Academy did in their official statement. Reportedly, there was much debate over whether to eject the King Richard star before his Best Actor win that night. What apparently prevented such measures from being taken was a supposed lack of consensus between those in charge of the show.
Perhaps the most powerful allegation of all is the one assigned to one of the producers of the 94th Academy Awards, Will Packer. These same unnamed sources claim that Packer was firmly on the side of keeping Will Smith on hand for the duration of the show, going as far as to personally ask him not to leave. Supposedly, this is what Will Packer said when he personally spoke to Smith, in service of keeping him at last weekend’s ceremony:
Naturally, this report is far from confirmed or definitive, and should be taken with great caution and scrutiny. Meanwhile, official proceedings involving the Will Smith/Chris Rock altercation will continue. Undoubtedly, these new allegations will be taken into account, and explored to the fullest extent.
More to come…