The internet has been overflowing with reactions and conversations about an incident that occurred at the 94th Academy Awards. The show took a bizarre turn when Will Smith went onstage and slapped Chris Rock for a joke the comedian made about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.
On Monday, during an interview with Gayle King for CBS Mornings, Jim Carrey had something to say about these actions, and he did not hold back. The actor slammed the Oscars audience for giving Smith a standing ovation when it was announced he won best actor for his performance in King Richard. Smith taking home the trophy occurred just several minutes after the troubling incident.
“I was sickened,” Carrey said. “I was sickened by the standing ovation. I felt like Hollywood is just spineless en masse and it really felt like this is a really clear indication that we’re not the cool club anymore.” He was deeply saddened by the crowd’s reaction to Smith’s win and noted his actions overshadowed the entire evening. Scroll down below to see the whole interview.
At the 2022 Oscars, Will Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage in defense of his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith
Jim Carrey reacted to his actions by criticizing Hollywood for giving Smith a standing ovation after he won the award for best actor
Rock was presenting the award for the Best Original Documentary when he pointed to Pinkett Smith in the audience and said the now-infamous joke: “Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see you.”
In case you’re wondering, G.I. Jane is a 1997 movie starring Demi Moore with a shaved head. Rock’s joke was purely a reference to Pinkett Smith’s hairstyle. His words made her roll her eyes and prompted a harsh reaction from her husband. You see, in 2018, the actress opened up about her diagnosis of alopecia, an autoimmune condition that causes hair loss. She has been candid about her struggles ever since.
Just minutes after the incident, attendees got to their feet when Will Smith won the award. “Richard Williams [whom he portrayed in King Richard] was a fierce defender of his family,” Smith said in his acceptance speech.
“I’ve been called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people. I know to do what we do, you gotta be able to take abuse, and you gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you gotta be able to have people disrespecting you and you gotta smile and you gotta pretend like that’s OK.”
“I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees,” Smith said with tears in his eyes. “Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said. … But love will make you do crazy things.”
While Smith did not mention Rock’s name in his speech, he later apologized to the comedian in a lengthy Instagram post. “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive”, Smith stated. “I am embarrassed, and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”
Pinkett Smith also took to social media to share a post, but instead of sharing her thoughts about the situation, she shared a quote: “This is the season for healing and I’m here for it”.
Smith later apologized in a statement on Instagram following the event
BBC reported that the comedian joked backstage after the incident: “That’s the only time you get hit by Muhammad Ali and it doesn’t leave a scratch,” referring to Smith’s role in Ali. Plus, the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed to Variety that Chris Rock has “declined to file a police report”.
“LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program. The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report,” a full statement from LAPD reads.
The Academy also issued a statement: “The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show. We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law.”
An industry source told People, “Behind the scenes, there were a lot of people and different voices and bifurcated opinions weighing in on what had just happened and what was the best and quickest course of action. People were also checking that Chris Rock was okay.”
“Having Will removed was definitely discussed seriously,” the source added. “You can’t plan for something like this and make a split-second decision that needs everyone’s buy-in, and in any iteration that would have consequences.”
Carrey’s words resonated with many people, here’s what they had to say.