When the panel discussed the wild incident at the Oscars Sunday, Holmes unleashed his opinions, calling the moment “awful” and “ugly..it was embarrassing, it was confusing.”
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“On a night where this entire production, the entire Oscar show was done for the first time by an all-Black producing team, here we are leading off the show and the story the morning about one man assaulting another on the Oscar stage,” he said, according to Deadline.
"…This was awful, unfortunate and out of character behavior from Will Smith, who we've all spent a whole lot of time with over the years," he continued, with George Stephanopoulos and Robin Roberts adding that they also felt there was "no excuse" for the violence.
However, some viewers thought Holmes was taking the moment out of proportion.
One viewer wrote on Twitter, “You’re overdramatizing the slap. If someone insulted your family member that has underlying health issues you would probably do the same thing maybe we should bring more light to what Jada is going through.”
@tjholmes Your overdramatizing the slap. If someone insulted your family member that has underlying health issues you would probably do the same thing maybe we should bring more light to what Jada is going through.
— Jeff Wojtanowski (@jeffw71367) March 28, 2022
Another tweeted to Holmes, “please talk about Chris Rock[‘s] behavior. Really disappointed in how you are painting this narrative. Will Smith protected his wife.”
Another commenter also felt like Holmes was blowing the incident out of proportion, writing, "It's pretty messed up to report the Rock/Smith incident as a GI Jane joke. Rock made an alopecia joke. He mocked JPS's MEDICAL condition. Shame on you for framing this as anything other than Smith standing up to a bully."
Meanwhile, Craig Melvin gave a slightly different reaction to the slap, voicing the layered reasons why this moment was disappointing no matter how you looked at it.
“If you’re rearing a boy, especially in this country, you spend so much time talking to our kids about keeping your hands to yourself, controlling your emotions,” he said on Today, according to Deadline. “And then there’s also this long-held perception in this country that men of color, especially can’t control their rage and their anger and to see someone who’s been that beloved for decades, it was troubling on so many levels.”