Months after blasting actor Will Smith for his now-infamous Oscars slap, popular podcaster Joe Rogan is calling for Smith to be forgiven.
Listen to the latest episode of CBN’s Quick Start podcast 👇
Rogan said on a recent episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience” while speaking with actor Jon Bernthal he believes Smith is a “human being” who “has to be forgiven” for slapping comedian Chris Rock on stage at the awards show, according to The Daily Wire.
Rogan said he initially was on board with shunning Smith forever but has had a change of heart.
“Now thinking about [it], I’m like, that guy has to be forgiven. Like, he clearly has deep remorse for what he’s done,” Rogan said. “And he’s also clearly living in a world where he was given nothing but adulation and praise for most of his life.”
He continued, “And then all of a sudden, he has this one, in many people’s eyes, unforgivable moment where he does something just so … stupid.”
Rogan said it’s not as though Smith isn’t aware of his actions and added Smith seems to genuinely feel bad for what unfolded last year.
“He’s a human being,” he said. “You just gotta forgive him, you know? And I think the real person who has to forgive him — if he wants to is Chris Rock.”
As Faithwire reported, the infamous slap occurred after Rock joked while on stage at the Oscars 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.
Many stars later spoke out about the incident and the fact Smith was permitted to stay in the room; the actor also later won Best Actor and received a standing ovation — something many found disturbing.
“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?’” comedian Wanda Sykes said after the slap. “This is just the wrong message. You assault someone, you get escorted out of the building. That’s it.”
Sykes’ comments mirrored fellow actor and comedian Jim Carrey, who called Hollywood “spineless” during a “CBS Mornings” interview last March. 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.’”
Smith, for his part, has repeatedly apologized for the incident. In a recent discussion with Trevor Noah, Smith called the Oscars night “horrific.”
“That was a horrific night, as you can imagine. There’s many nuances and complexities to it,” he said. “But at the end of the day, I just – I lost it, you know. I guess what I would say is that you just never know what somebody’s going through.”
He continued, “I was going through something that night, you know? Not that that justifies my behavior at all. I understand how shocking that was for people … I was gone. That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.”
In an age of cancel culture — and in light of the importance of forgiveness — Rogan’s comments are notable.
***As the number of voices facing big-tech censorship continues to grow, please sign up for Faithwire’s daily newsletter and download the CBN News app, developed by our parent company, to stay up-to-date with the latest news from a distinctly Christian perspective.***