Oscars Producer Will Packer Has Characterized The Will Smith-Chris Rock Debacle As ‘A Very Painful Moment For Me’

Will Packer knows all about Hollywood drama. Over the past two decades, the producer has racked up more than 70 credits, including his most recent gig as the producer of the 2022 Oscars. Yes, the one where Will Smith and Chris Rock got into a physical altercation on stage and all hell broke loose.

About an hour after the ceremony had ended, Packer took to Twitter to offer a very short statement on the matter:

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Packer’s somewhat comical tone didn’t sit well with everyone. The producer was criticized for seeming flippant or unfazed by a physical assault that took place on his watch. On Monday morning he took time to address the situation, and the backlash to his tweet. “Black people have a defiant spirit of laughter when it comes to dealing with pain because there has been so much of it,” Packer said, while admitting, “This was a very painful moment for me. On many levels.”

Many viewers questioned why Smith—who shortly after the incident won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in King Richard—was not escorted out of the event. The Academy addressed these concerns with a short tweet, which seemed to side-step the entire question:

Packer previously told The Hollywood Reporter that his main goal for the Oscars telecast, which has been steadily losing viewers in recent years, was to make it a memorable, much-watch event for everyone. “You need something other than just a chance to see stars,” he said in early March. “We have to make a show that is entertaining and appeals to a broad swath of the viewing public.”

Mission accomplished.

(Via The Hollywood Reporter)