Not here for that. John Oliver heard O.J. Simpson’s opinion that Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars, and the late-night talk show host quickly closed the comment.
“No, not you, OJ, not you,” Oliver, 44, said during last week’s episode of Tonight on Sunday, April 3. COVID is the patio of the Señor Frog’s restaurant. You can just sit it out. Think of this situation as a noisy bachelor who orders a mimosa. We want as little Juice as possible to participate here.”
Simpson, 74, for his part, took to social media shortly after the shocking moment of the awards to defend Smith, 53.
“It was unfortunate. I think Will was wrong. Look, I get that feeling. I’ve been through a lot of shit in my life,” the former athlete explained in a video on Twitter on Tuesday, March 29. “Every comedian in the country had an O.J. routine. Don’t think I didn’t mean to slap some of these guys. You just have to admit it’s humor.”
The California native, who received parole in 2017 after an armed robbery case, also tweeted: “[Will Smith] was wrong, but I understand his feelings.”
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air graduate recently made headlines during the 94th Annual Academy Awards ceremony on March 27. Presenting the award, 57-year-old Rock joked about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s shaved head. 50-year-old Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia, rolled her eyes at the comment before her husband came on stage and hit the comedian.
When the Suicide Squad star returned to his seat, he was seen shouting back at Rock to “keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”
A day later, Smith apologized for the “unacceptable and inexcusable” actions that took place on camera. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am confused, and my actions did not indicate who I want to be. There is no place for violence in the world of love and kindness,” he wrote on Instagram.
The Philadelphia native added: “I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the visitors and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams family and my King Richard family. I deeply regret that my behavior has tarnished what has otherwise been a great journey for all of us.”
Less than a week after the altercation, Smith resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
“I have responded directly to the Academy’s notification of the disciplinary hearing and will fully accept any consequences of my behavior. My actions at the 94th Academy Awards Ceremony were shocking, painful and unforgivable,” the “I am Legend” star, who won the Best Actor award, said in a statement on Friday, April 1, according to Variety. “The list of those I have offended is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and family, everyone present and the global audience at home. I betrayed the Academy’s trust.
Smith noted that his actions “deprived other nominees and winners of the opportunity” to celebrate their achievements. “I am heartbroken. I want to focus again on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to return to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in cinema,” he concluded. “So, I am resigning my membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and will accept any further consequences that the Board deems appropriate.”