Comedian and former Tonight’s show host Jay Leno weighed in on Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars last month. Leno, who called Smith a “good guy”, said the most shocking moment for him came after the slap.
“For me, the most disturbing thing was not the slap, because he smiled a little after slapping [Rock]”, Leno told the Palm Beach Daily News this week. “It was the howl of obscenities. Then you go, ‘Wow. What’s going on here? That’s real anger.'”
After the incident, the Academy said it would “go through a formal process which would take a few weeks.” Leno was in disbelief.
“What are you investigating?” ” he said. “It was to be the most recorded assault in history. I saw the back of his shoe. I saw Chris’ ear. There were so many cameras on this incident. What are you investigating? I know sometimes things are exactly what they seem.
Shortly after the Academy’s statement, Smith resigned his membership in AMPAS and the Academy moved up its meeting, where it banned Smith from its events for the next 10 years.
Other comedians also rallied around Rock shortly after the incident.
Nine-time Oscar host Billy Crystal called the Smith-Chris Rock showdown “one of the most disturbing incidents, for sure.” Like Leno, he was clear about the nature of the moment: “It was an assault.”
Howard Stern, Jim Carrey, Kathy Griffin and others also weighed in.