This is why Will Smith was not removed after Oscars feud

Reports claim he refused - but that's not entirely true

Will Smith Oscars 2022
(Image credit: Getty)

Will Smith slapped Chris Rock while on stage at this year's Oscars 2022.

The King Richard actor - who picked up his first Oscars for his role in the new movie - hit out after the comedian appeared to poke fun at Will's wife Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head, which is a result of a health condition called alopecia.

The 53-year-old actor went on to shout at Chris from his seat, and said: "Keep my wife's name out your f***ing mouth".

There has been a mixed response from Hollywood stars, despite Will's several apologies, both on the night, and in the aftermath of the event, which has seen him resign from the Oscars Academy. 

Some insist Will should have been removed from the event, but the Hitch star was prevented from being "physically removed" after the altercation.

Speaking on ABC's Good Morning America, the producer of the Oscars, Will Packer, said: "I had not been a part of those conversations.

"So, I immediately went to the Academy leadership that was on site and I said, 'Chris Rock doesn't want that'."

Packer has insisted the comedian refused for any action to take place to discipline Will on the evening, and was "not angry" at Will or by the moment.

Will Smith punches Chris Rock at Oscars

"Rock has made it clear that he does not want to make a bad situation worse. That was Chris's energy. His tone was not retaliatory. His tone was not angry", Packer added.

He continued: "So I was advocating what Rock wanted at that time, which was not to physically remove Will Smith at that time, because, as it has now been explained to me, that was the only option at that point.

"It has been explained to me that there was a conversation that I was not a part of to ask him to voluntarily leave."

Chris also urged for police not to get involved in the matter either, although Will - who has Jaden, Willow and Trey Smith - was at risk of being charged with "battery".

Packer continued: "They were saying, you know, this is - battery was the word they used at that moment. They said, 'We will go get him. We are prepared. We're prepared to go get him right now. You can press charges. We can arrest him'.

"They were laying out the options, and as they were talking, Chris was being very dismissive of those options. He was like, 'No, I'm fine'. He was like, 'No, no, no', Even to the point where I said, 'Rock, Let them finish'.

"The other LAPD officers finished laying out what his options were and they said, 'Would you like us to take any action?' And he said, 'No'. He said, 'No'."

Maisie Bovingdon

Maisie is a writer and editor, covering Royal News, Showbiz, Lifestyle content, as well as Shopping Writing and E-Commerce, for print and digital publications, including Marie Claire, Hello!, Fabulous, Mail Online and Yahoo!.