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It’s been three days since the Oscars aired on ABC, and while there’s certainly enough to discuss regarding the 2022 Academy Award winners, the most talked-about moment from the ceremony remains Will Smith slapping Chris Rock. There have been conflicting takes on the incident, and Oscars co-host Wanda Sykes falls into the camp of supporting Rock. In fact, the actress/comedian even thought up a way to respond to what happened onstage.
Wanda Sykes hosted this past weekend’s Oscars with Regina Hall and Amy Schumer (who clarified on social media that her moment with Kirsten Dunst was scripted). During her appearance on Ellen, Sykes explained how after finishing one of the show’s bits, she was in the middle of changing into a new costume, but wanted to see Rock perform. However, the Black-ish actress only made it to the monitor as Smith was leaving the stage, and she had to be informed about what he’d done. Sykes then said the following:
To provide some context, a little over half an hour after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock over a joke the latter made about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, appearing in G.I. Jane 2 (referring to her bald look, which is a result of alopecia), he won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in King Richard. As Wanda Sykes sees it though, Will Smith shouldn’t have been allowed to stay in the building, and she could have used that as a way to joke about how he wasn’t around to accept his Oscar. But that’s not what happened; instead, Smith delivered a passionate speech where he indirectly addressed the scuffle with Rock and apologized to the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences about what happened.
In the hours following Will Smith’s confrontation with Chris Rock, the Saturday Night Live alum declined to press charges against the Men in Black actor, and Sean Combs, a.k.a. Diddy, who presented after Rock, alleged that the two men squashed their beef later in the night. The next day, Smith formally apologized to Rock, saying he was “out of line and wrong.” Unfortunately, another man named Will Smith ended up having to respond on Twitter when thousands of angry tweets were sent his way.
Wanda Sykes isn’t the only celebrity who disapproved of what Will Smith did. Jim Carrey said he was “sickened” by the actor getting a standing ovation later during the Oscars, and Zoë Kravitz shared similar sentiments on the brouhaha. On the other side of the spectrum, Smith’s Fresh Prince of Bel-Air co-star Janet Hubert said she was proud of Smith for winning the Oscar and made it clear she’s not Rock’s biggest fan. As for Jada Pinkett Smith, she shared a cryptic message on Instagram saying that “this is a season for healing,” and she’s “here for it.”
CinemaBlend will continue to provide updates on this Will Smith matter. If you’re interested in re-watching the 94th Academy Awards, make sure you’re subscribed to Hulu.