Last month, Smith posted a video in which he directly apologised to Rock, describing his behaviour as “unacceptable”.
Packer, the producer behind the 2022 Academy Awards, has now commended Smith for the apology, telling Entertainment Tonight: “I love the fact that he’s being so transparent about his process. He is being very public and honest and open about his remorse.”
“I think that he’s got three decades in this business of being somebody that is the exact opposite of who he was in those few seconds, and so I’m pulling for him,” he added.
Smith shared the apology video on YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, telling Rock: “I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”
“I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk, and when he is he will reach out,” said Smith. “So I will say to you, Chris, I apologise to you. My behaviour was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”
Hours after the video’s release, Rock joked about the slap – although he did not address the apology – during his live comedy show at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.
“Everybody is trying to be a fucking victim,” said Rock. “If everybody claims to be a victim, then nobody will hear the real victims. “Even me getting smacked by Suge Smith… I went to work the next day, I got kids.”
Rock’s reference to Smith as “Suge Smith” is believed to be a play on the name Suge Knight, the former CEO of Death Row Records who was sentenced to 28 years in prison in September 2018 for manslaughter.
Rock added: “Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face.”