In an interview with Entertainment Tonight published Tuesday, the producer behind the 2022 Academy Awards shared his thoughts on Smith's public video apology to Chris Rock for slapping the comedian onstage during the ceremony.
"I love the fact that he's being so transparent about his process," Packer, 48, told the outlet. "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.
In the clip, Smith, 53, said, in part, "I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I'm here whenever you're ready to talk."
He added, "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."
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Hours after the video's release, Rock joked about the slap — but didn't address Smith's apology — during his show at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.
"Everybody is trying to be a f---ing victim," Rock said. "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 of Smith as "Suge Smith" appeared to be a play on the name of currently jailed Death Row Records CEO Suge Knight.)
"Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face," Rock added during the stop on his Ego Death World Tour.
A source later told PEOPLE that Rock has "moved on" from the incident before Smith issued the public apology.
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"Chris doesn't need to talk. This is clearly something that bothers Will more than Chris," the insider said of the pair. "Will needs to deal with his issues. Chris is fine."
Another industry source added that it is a positive sign that the comedian is already making light of the incident in his stand-up.
"The fact that he is making jokes about it already is a good thing," the source said. "That means he is assessing it. But the stress of the slap and the aftermath has not taken over his life. Quite the opposite."