Los Angeles police were ready to arrest Will Smith after he slapped Chris Rock on the Academy Awards stage, an Oscars producer said.
Will Packer said the Los Angeles Police department was ready to “go get him” in an interview to “Good Morning America.”
“They were saying, you know, this is battery, was a word they used in that moment,” Packer said.
“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.”
The Oscars producer said Rock was “very dismissive” of the idea.
“He was like, ‘No, no, no, I’m fine,” Packer said.
“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.”
The LAPD said they were aware of the incident, in a statement after Sunday night’s ceremony, and that Rock had declined to file a police report.
The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences met on Wednesday to start disciplinary proceedings against Smith for violations against the group’s standards of conduct.
Smith could be suspended, expelled or otherwise sanctioned, although the formal review would probably stop short of seeing Smith’s best actor award revoked.
The Academy said that “Mr Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television.”
Smith walked on stage and slapped Rock after the latter made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
Smith was asked to leave the ceremony at the Dolby Theatre, but refused to do so, staying to collect his best actor award moments later.