Billy Crystal Speaks Out Calling Will Smith Oscars Slap ‘Disturbing’

The 94th Oscars were a few weeks ago by now, but we’re all still reflecting on the main event of the night: Will Smith slapping Chris Rock across the face after making a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair. Smith was largely offended by the comment to his wife since has has alopecia, and not only walked up to smack Rock in front of the audience, but then screamed at him from his seat to keep his wife’s name out of his mouth.

Not only did fans across the globe find the incident pretty shocking, so did many celebrities. For example, Jim Carrey says he is absolutely “sickened” by what went down on stage that night. “I was sickened by the standing ovation,” he explained, referring to the Best Actor award Smith received not long after the incident. “I felt like Hollywood is just spineless en masse. And it really felt like this is a really clear indication that we’re not the cool club anymore.”

Additionally, comedian Amy Schumer, one of three co-hosts at the Oscars, also found the incident quite awful, stating that the occurrence “triggered and traumatized” her. As a comedian, many found it sad that someone usually so funny was so bothered by the event. And she wasn’t the only comedian to think so—many comedians took to Twitter to share their thoughts.

One more celebrity has just come forward with some similar thoughts on Smith slapping Rock. This time it’s Billy Crystal, who has hosted the Academy Awards nine times in the past, who explained the slap as quite “disturbing.”

“It was an assault. I’ve had experiences. I hosted the Grammys three times and I’ve been thrown things,” he said on Bob Costas’ HBO Max series Back on the Record.

After the incident, Crystal says he’ll never host the Oscars again. “I sort of set myself up to host the show, really host the show, so you can tie it together. So whenever I see shows that it’s a no-host show, yeah it went faster, but there’s nobody there to capitalize on anything and give the audience the feeling of there’s somebody in charge,” he said.

You can hear more about Crystal’s reaction to the slap in the video below.

Smith did publicly apologize for the incident, but after more than two weeks since the show, consequences are being met, like the Academy Awatds banning him from returning for at least the next 10 years. Additionally, Netflix had quietly backed away from Smith’s upcoming movie.

Do you think Smith deserves the punishments he’s getting?