Comedian Chris Rock reportedly apologized to Oscars co-host Wanda Sykes after actor Will Smith slapped him across the face Sunday during the award show in a moment that unfortunately came to define the night.
Sykes shared Rock’s alleged reaction to the shocking moment when she appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” this week, Page Six reported.
She also called the slap “sickening” and said she felt terrible for him.
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“I hope he doesn’t mind me saying this, but I saw Chris at Guy [Oseary’s] party,” Sykes said. “And as soon as I walked up to him, the first thing he said was, ‘I am so sorry,’ and I’m like, ‘Why are you apologizing?’”
Rock reportedly said the night was supposed to belong to her, and her fellow co-hosts, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall, but that he knew the entire conversation would suddenly surround the slap heard around the world.
“It was supposed to be your night. You and Amy and Regina, y’all were doing such a great job,” Rock purportedly said. “I’m so sorry this is now gonna be about this.”
Frustration Over Handling
Sykes also expressed shock that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences allowed Smith to stay inside the venue after the now-infamous moment.
“For them to let him stay in that room and enjoy the rest of the show and accept his award, I was like, ‘How gross is this?'” she said. “This is just the wrong message. You assault someone, you get escorted out of the building. That’s it.”
Sykes’ comments mirror fellow actor and comedian Jim Carrey, who called Hollywood “spineless” during an interview with “CBS Mornings” this week. He, too, argued Smith should have been escorted out.
“I was sickened. I was sickened by the standing ovation,” Carrey said. “I felt like Hollywood is just spineless en masse, and it just really felt like, ‘Oh, this is a really clear indication that we’re not the cool club anymore.'”
Rock also sparked attention Wednesday night for publicly addressing the incident for the first time during a comedy show in Boston. He told the audience he had a lot of jokes written down before what unfolded.
While he didn’t mention Smith by name, he said he’s still “processing” the slap.
“I’m still kind of processing what happened, so at some point, I’ll talk about that,” he said. “And it’ll be serious and it’ll be funny, but right now, I’m going to tell some jokes.”
Recap: The Background
At this point, it seems most people know the background of what unfolded during the Oscars. But to recap: the unfortunate scene took place after Rock joked about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who has a shaved head due to struggles with alopecia.
“Jada, I love you,” Rock said from the stage. “‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see you.”
While laughs and giggles followed, Pinkett Smith looked unamused, and Smith started walking up on the stage and toward Rock. That’s when he hit the comedian and walked back to his seat.
Smith then yelled from his chair after hitting Rock, telling the comedian, “Keep my wife’s name out of your [expletive] mouth.”
It should be noted Smith later apologized for his actions in a social media post. The expression of regret came Monday as The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences pondered “further actions and consequences” against Smith.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable,” the statement read, in part. “Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.”
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