The women of The View are the latest to give their reactions to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock before the introduction of the Best Documentary Feature category. Smith caused Rock bodily harm after Rock made a joke referencing Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia.
According to Deadline, Joy Behar said that she felt like comedians now have a new level of danger of worry about when making jokes on stage.
“I was thinking comedians are in danger everywhere,” she said. “They want us to be edgy, to go out there and say what’s everyone’s thinking…and then they get mad.” She also said she wanted Smith to “walk off” what makes him mad the next time something like this happens, referencing a time when she was heckled by college students, who threw popcorn at her. Instead of interacting with the students, she walked off the stage. She also brought up when she and Whoopi Goldberg walked off the set of The View after arguing with Bill O’Reilly.
While Goldberg said he was glad that Rock didn't press charges or "take it to the other place that he could have done," Ana Navarro said that she felt Smith's actions were inexcusable, despite the joke being in poor taste.
“Hitting somebody is a crime, a crime of assault,” she said. “[Rock’s joke] was a lame joke, a joke in very poor taste,” she said, but “the joke and the slap were not equivalent.”
“In context, Jada has alopecia and that’s why she shaved her head. She’s been very public abou tit, very vulnerable about it, but nothing, nada condones violence at this point. Nada,” she continued.
Sunny Hostin gave her opinion, saying she was "embarrassed" for Smith and "horrified" for Rock, and felt that Smith needed to give Rock an apology among the many he gave that night.
“I thought Chris was the one who deserved an apology,” she said, adding that Rock “took the high road” after the incident. “I think will was immature, I think he was childish and he was violent,” she continued. “That’s something we tell our children not to do, our children would be suspended from school for that.” She said Smith should have articulated better what made him so upset instead of resorting to words. Hostin also brought up the fact that the Smiths live their lives in the public, discussing a lot of private matters with their fans, including the state of their marriage. Hostin said she felt that they didn’t have the right to pick and choose when they felt offended and “execute violence.”
Hostin also said she was surprised Smith got a standing ovation after winning for Best Actor for King Richard. “I’m surprised he was not escorted out,” she said, adding the question of if the Academy would let him keep his hard-worn prize. Goldberg, however, said Smith deserved his Oscar.
Goldberg said that Smith overreacted.
“I think it was a lot of stuff probably built up,” she said, adding how the Smiths have been the constant targets of jokes (some made by Rock himself when he hosted the Oscars). “I think he overreacted…I think he had one of those moments where it was like, G.D. it, just stop. I get it. Not everybody acts the way we would like them to act under pressure. And he snapped…Sometimes you get to a point when you behave badly. I myself have behaved badly on occasion.”
“We’re not going to take that Oscar from him,” she said. “There will be consequences I’m sure, but I don’t think that’s what they’re going to do, particularly because Chris said, ‘Listen, I’m not pressing any charges.'”
At the end of the segment, Behar wildly compared this to the confirmation hearings for Ketanji Brown Jackson.
“Judge Jackson probably wanted to jump up and b***h slap that Ted Cruz but she didn’t,” she said. “She remained professional.”
You can watch the full clip below.
WILL SMITH ASSAULTS CHRIS ROCK OVER JOKE: History was made at Sunday’s Academy Awards, but #TheView co-hosts weigh in on the altercation everyone is talking about and discuss if it overshadowed the moments that should have been celebrated. https://t.co/Ah9MDZwvCD #Oscars pic.twitter.com/kNMoxwHKeh
— The View (@TheView) March 28, 2022