Actress Wanda Sykes is speaking out against the decision not to remove actor Will Smith from the Oscars after he slapped Chris Rock on stage.
During “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” Wednesday, Sykes — a co-host of the Oscars — said, “I just was like, ‘Is this really happening?’ And then someone showed me on the video like, ‘yeah, he smacked Chris.’ And I just felt so awful for my friend, you know, Chris.”
“And it was sickening. I physically felt ill. And I’m still a little traumatized by it,” she continued. “And for them to let [Smith] stay in that room and enjoy the rest of the show and accept his award. I was like, ‘How gross is this? This is just the wrong message.'”
She added, “You assault somebody, you get escorted out [of] the building, and that’s it. But for them to let him continue, I thought it was gross.”
Watch the video below:
Oscars host Wanda Sykes says it was "gross" for The Academy to allow Will Smith to stay after slapping Chris Rock:
"For them to let him stay in that room and enjoy the rest of that show … I was like, 'How gross is this?' This is just the wrong message." pic.twitter.com/cEbPj6SWMk
— The Recount Alt (@therecountalt) March 30, 2022
During the Oscars, Smith slapped Rock after he made a joke about the actor’s wife’s hair.
Later that night, Smith won the award for best actor for his role in “King Richard.”
Comedian Amy Schumer, another co-host of the Oscars on Sunday, said in a post on Instagram that she was “still triggered and traumatized” and “in shock” because of the incident.
While Sykes argued that it was “gross” that Smith was not removed from the room, “The View” co-host Whoopi Goldberg said on Tuesday she believes racial dynamics played in to the decision in letting him stay.
“The reason they didn’t go and take him out is because that would have been another 15-20 minute explanation of why we’re taking the Black man out five seconds before they’re about to decide whether he’s won an Oscar or not,” she suggested.
Smith apologized to Rock on Monday and said he was “out of line.”
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