Oscars host Wanda Sykes weighs in on Will Smith slap row: ‘I’m still traumatised’
Oscars co-host Wanda Sykes said she “physically felt ill” when Will Smith hit Chris Rock.
The comedian reflected on the surreal altercation that took place between Smith and Rock during the Oscars in an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Wednesday (31 March).
Sykes, 58, told DeGeneres that she felt sickened after seeing Smith strike her friend and claimed she is “still a little traumatised by it.”
She added: “And for them to let [Will] stay in that room and enjoy the rest of the show and accept his award, I was like, ‘How gross is this?’ This sends the wrong message.”
Wanda Sykes, who co-hosted Sunday’s Oscars with Regina Hall and Amy Schumer, said that Rock had taken the time to apologise to her for the incident drawing attention away from the awards show.
“I saw Chris at [Guy Oseary’s afterparty] and as soon as I walked up to him, the first thing he said is, ‘I’m so sorry’,” Sykes said.
“I was like, ‘Why are you apologising?’ He was like, ‘It was supposed to be your night. You and Amy and Regina were doing such a great job. I’m so sorry this is now gonna be about this.’ Because that’s who Chris is.”
Wanda Sykes wants Will Smith to apologise
Will Smith has apologised to the Academy and to Chris Rock for the incident. However, Wanda Sykes is waiting for an apology to her and her fellow co-hosts.
She told The Ellen Show: “This is our house, we’re inviting you in, we’re hosts, we’re gonna take care of y’all tonight and make sure you have a good time. And no one has apologised to us. We worked really hard to put that show together, so just the industry itself, I’m like, ‘What the hell is this?'”
Smith left viewers in shock when he slapped Rock for making a poor-taste joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia.
“Jada, I love you. GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see you,” the comic said before Smith then walked out from the audience on to the stage and slapped him.
The Hitch star then shouted: “Keep my wife’s name out your f**king mouth.”
Smith publicly apologised to Rock in a statement on Instagram Monday (28 March), admitting he “was out of line”.
“I was wrong,” he wrote. “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.”
Chris Rock has said he is “still processing what happened”. Meanwhile, the Oscars has announced disciplinary proceedings against Smith which could result in “suspension [from the Academy], expulsion, or other sanctions”.
Sykes’ fellow host Amy Schumer also spoke out about the incident as she wrote on Instagram: “But for real. Still triggered and traumatized. I love my friend @chrisrock and believe he handled it like a pro. Stayed up there and gave an Oscar to his friend @questlove and the whole thing was so disturbing.
“So much pain in @willsmith anyway I’m still in shock and stunned and sad. Im proud of myself and my cohosts. But yeah. Waiting for this sickening feeling to go away from what we all witnessed.”
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