Sports Analyst Stephen A. Smith Goes Off on Will Smith for Slapping Chris Rock, Calls It ‘Straight Bullsh!t’
Will Smith has received quite a bit of support following the shocking slap he handed comedian Chris Rock on the Oscar Awards stage last night. However, sports analyst Stephen A. Smith disapproves of what looks to be a historical moment and has called out Will for his actions.
Stephen A. Smith, lead commentator on ESPN's First Take, posted a video of himself on his Twitter account early Monday morning (March 28), saying that Will Smith's response to Chris Rock's joke, which poked fun at Will's wife Jada Pinkett Smith's hair loss and battle with alopecia, was "shameful."
"What Will Smith did tonight was straight bullshit," Stephen A. began in the nearly minute-long clip. "Props and congratulations to him for winning the Oscar, ’cause dammit, he deserved it. And I love the brother and I'm proud of him, but boy was that a shameful act for him to commit tonight. To go up on stage and slap Chris Rock like that, he's lucky he didn't get his ass kicked. Particularly, after the event was over. If not by Chris Rock, to the fellas he had there with him. I mean, damn."
He went on to say, "Denzel [Washington] and Bradley Cooper and Tyler Perry having to calm you down. Your publicist having to run out and calm you down. I mean damn. Come on, bro. Come on, man. There's no excuse for it, ladies and gentlemen. Don't even try to justify it, OK? Chris Rock said it years ago. Every time Black folks doing something, you know who messes it up. I never dreamed in my wildest dreams that I'd be saying that about Will Smith. A Black man, Will Packer, did a phenomenal job producing the Oscars, and you do this to stain yourself? To stain the Academy Awards? Damn."
But that wasn't the first of Stephen A. Smith's opinions on the headline-making incident.
Stephen A. also sounded off in a series of tweets.
"Please tell me I didn’t see what I just saw," he typed last night, shortly after the situation transpired via ABC's live broadcast. "Somebody please tell me that @willsmith was joking and it was part of the show when he just smacked @chrisrock on National Television. I’m begging y’all….please don’t tell me @willsmith would do something like that???"
He then said, "If @willsmith seriously did that — and he wins the OSCAR — he just stained the greatest moment of his career. You cannot do that S$&@!!Especially as a BLACK MAN, in that position, to ANOTHER BLACK MAN(@chrisrock) on THAT STAGE. If this was not a joke, Will won’t live this down!!!."
"I just saw the RAW footage," Stephen A. later shared. "@willsmith should be ashamed of his damn self. It was a G.I. Jane joke. Total B.S. If it were @TheRock or someone like that instead of @chrisrock would he have done that shit!."
He added, "Total BS by @willsmith . If his night is ruined because of this he deserves it. The man has Denzel & Bradley Cooper trying to calm him down. For what? A joke about his wife in G.I. Joe? Come on! The shit was embarrassing! A very very bad look! Love Will. But not after this B.S. Didn’t know until just this moment about @jadapsmith having Alopecia. She’s wonderful and great. So is @willsmith — which we all know. They’re both phenomenal. But you do NOT do what Will did in that setting. Go backstage and handle that shit if you must. Horrible look!."
As previously reported, prior to announcing the nominees for Best Documentary at the Oscars, Chris Rock opted to make a joke about the film G.I. Jane, which features actress Demi Moore with a very low haircut. Within the joke, Chris poked fun at Jada Pinkett Smith, Will's wife, who has a similar cut due to hair loss stemming from alopecia.
Will Smith walked on the stage and open-hand slapped Chris Rock in the face before returning to his seat, and warning Rock to keep Jada's name out of his mouth.
The Academy Awards have since released a statement on the incident, declaring that they don't condone violence.
"The Academy does not condone violence of any form," the statement shared via Twitter reads. "Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world."
According to ABC News' Instagram page, the Los Angeles Police Department is also aware of what transpired last night between the two actor-comedians.
"LAPD INVESTIGATIVE ENTITIES ARE AWARE OF AN INCIDENT BETWEEN TWO INDIVIDUALS DURING THE ACADEMY AWARDS PROGRAM," the statement says. "THE INCIDENT INVOLVED ONE INDIVIDUAL SLAPPING ANOTHER. THE INDIVIDUAL INVOLVED HAS DECLINED TO FILE A POLICE REPORT. IF THE INVOLVED PARTY DESIRES A POLIVE REPORT AT A LATER DATE, LAPD WILL BE ABLE TO COMPLETE AN INVESTIGATIVE REPORT."
Following the incident, Will Smith won the award for Best Actor for his role in King Richard, the story of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams and their father, Richard Williams. In Smith's speech, he apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees for his actions.