Oscar Producer Will Packer Says He’s “Pulling” for Will Smith After Publicly Apologizing to Chris Rock

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Are you moving in the right direction? After the Oscar drama, producer Will Packer was pleasantly surprised by how Will Smith handled the consequences of slapping Chris Rock.

The incident with Will Smith and Chris Rock at the Oscars in 2022: everything you need to know

“I love the fact that he’s so outspoken in his process,” Packer, 48, told Entertainment Tonight on Tuesday, August 9, about Smith’s video in which he apologized for the incident. “He speaks very publicly, honestly and openly about his remorse.”

The Florida native noted that the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air graduate’s actions show his experience in the industry, adding, “I think he has three decades in this business to be someone who is the exact opposite of who he was in those few seconds. And that’s why I’m fighting for him.”

Packer’s epiphany came shortly after the 53-year-old Smith returned to social media to talk about the Oscar drama. (In March, the actor made headlines when he punched the 57-year-old Rock on stage at the Academy Awards in response to a joke he made about Jada Pinkett-Smith.)

“A minute has passed… over the past few months I have been thinking a lot and doing personal work… You asked a lot of fair questions that I wanted to take the time to answer,” read the text before the video. , which was posted on Instagram on July 29.

In the video, the Oscar winner talked about how to cope with the consequences of the situation. “I’ve spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuances and complexities of what happened at that moment,” he said. “I’m not going to try to unpack it all right now. But I can tell all of you that no part of me thinks it was the right behavior at that moment. No part of me thinks this is the optimal way to deal with feelings of disrespect or insults.”

Will Smith strikes Chris Rock during the 94th Annual Academy Awards Ceremony on March 27, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. Rob Latour/Shutterstock

Smith said he tried to contact the comedian to make amends. “In response, a message came that he was not ready to talk. And when he shows up, he’ll reach out,” the Philadelphia native continued. “So I’ll tell you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here when you’re ready to talk. …I try not to think of myself as a piece of shit.”

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The “King Richard” star also explained that his actions were not influenced by his wife. “I made the choice on my own, based on my own experience, from my story with Chris. Jada has nothing to do with this,” he added. “I deeply repent and try to repent without being ashamed of myself. Right? I am a human being, and I made a mistake.”

Rock, for his part, apparently cast a shadow over the infamous moment a few hours after the video was released. “Everyone is trying to be the fucking victims,” the South Carolina native joked during a show at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. “If everyone claims that they are victims, then no one will hear the real victims. Even I was slapped by Shug Smith… I went to work the next day, I have kids.”

He added: “Anyone who utters words that cause pain has never been hit in the face.”

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At the time, a source exclusively told Us Weekly that 50-year-old Pinkett Smith inspired Smith’s decision to discuss the slap on social media.

“Jada also pushed Will to apologize because it became a really dark cloud over her Red Table Talk series,” the insider said, referring to the actress’ Facebook talk show. “His team hoped that the dispute would subside, but it did not happen. It would be impossible for him to move forward successfully if he [didn’t respond to the slap].”

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