Two conflicting accounts have arisen about Packer’s advice to Will Smith after he slapped Chris Rock on the live telecast of the Oscars after the stand-up’s “G.I. Jane 2” joke toward Jada Pinkett Smith. We’ve heard from an insider that Packer insisted that Smith not leave the ceremony; this while AMPAS heads David Rubin and Dawn Hudson suggested to Smith’s rep that the actor leave the Dolby. There’s also buzz that Packer advised Smith to leave.
T.J. Holmes will speak exclusively with Packer on Friday. World News Tonight with David Muir will air a preview clip tonight at 6:30pm ET on ABC.
While AMPAS in a statement yesterday says they asked Smith to leave, many others in the know this morning said that it was merely suggested, and the King Richard Oscar-winning actor was never directly asked. Smith’s rep advised the actor that AMPAS suggested he leave, however, Smith wanted to stay and right the situation. He apologized to the Academy and those in the room, but not Rock. It wasn’t until Monday that Smith apologized again, and specifically named Rock in his mea culpa.
AMPAS Board of Governors voted to pursue an investigation into the Smith-Rock incident. At the next board meeting on April 18, the Academy may take any disciplinary action, which may include suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct. Smith has “15 days’ notice of a vote regarding his violations and sanctions, and the opportunity to be heard beforehand by means of a written response” wrote the Academy yesterday.
Variety first had the news about Packer’s appearance on GMA.