Will Packer was supposed to be basking in the glow of producing a lavish event in the 94th Academy Awards, which was marked by the smacking of host Chris Rock by Will Smith. Packer, who initially made what some took as a joke regarding the shocking incident, explained to critics who blasted him for the comment.
In the aftermath of the slap seen around the world, Packer took to Twitter and joined in with the chatter that has persisted since the conclusion of the Oscars ceremony.
“Welp…I said it wouldn’t be boring #Oscars,” Packer tweeted shortly after the Oscars, prompting a flurry of responses both in agreement and anger at the moment.
One user wrote, “Making jokes about an assault that happened during your show isn’t the congratulatory message you think it is.”
Packer, realizing the gravity of his statement and the replies that ensued, replied with, “Black people have a defiant spirit of laughter when it comes to dealing with pain because there has been so much of it. I don’t feel the need to elucidate that for you. But I also don’t mind being transparent and say that this was a very painful moment for me. On many levels.
It should be noted that several Twitter users who, assumably are white or non-Black, had plenty to say about the tension between two of the most notable entertainers in Black culture. Because of the lack of cultural context juxtaposed against the fancy backdrop of the Oscars, the slapping incident is now part of a silly culture war that has little signs of blowing over any time soon.