Comedian Wanda Sykes has spoken out in defense of Chris Rock, revealing that he apologized to her after he was physically assaulted by Will Smith on Sunday night, live on-air.
“I hope he doesn’t mind me saying this, but I saw Chris at [Guy Oseary’s after party] and as soon as I walked up to him, the first thing he said is, ‘I’m so sorry.’ I was like, ‘Why are you apologizing?’ He was like, ‘It was supposed to be your night. You and Amy and Regina were doing such a great job. I’m so sorry this is now gonna be about this.’ Because that’s who Chris is,” Sykes told Ellen Degeneres.
Since Sunday, Rock has said very little publicly about the incident. A recording is floating around on social media, where the comedian stated that he is “still processing” what happened to him.
The slap has divided not only Hollywood but the industry as a whole. Some have defended Smith’s actions, insisting that he had a right to defend his wife, while others believe that violence is never the answer.
Sykes is unhappy with the way the Academy handled Smith.
“It was sickening. It was absolutely— I physically felt ill, and I’m still a little traumatized by it. And for them to let [Will] stay in that room and enjoy the rest of the show and accept his award, I was like, ‘How gross is this?’ This sends the wrong message. If you assault somebody, you get escorted out the building and that’s it. But for them to let him continue, I thought it was gross.”
She also believes Smith should apologize to her and her fellow co-hosts.
“We were the hosts, right? So we were, this is our house, we’re inviting you in, we’re hosts, we’re gonna take care of y’all tonight and make sure you have a good time. And no one has apologized to us. We worked really hard to put that show together, so just the industry itself, I’m like, ‘What the hell is this?’ “