Jimmy Kimmel Reacts to Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock at Oscars (VIDEO)
Jimmy Kimmel has shared his thoughts on the slap heard around the world, as the former two-time Oscars host compared the Will Smith and Chris Rock incident to Mike Tyson biting off Evander Holyfield’s ear.
The late-night host opened Monday night’s episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live! by addressing the car crash moment from Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony. “It’s now a part of our life forever; we will never stop talking about this,” Kimmel said. “It was so shocking. The only thing I can really compare it to is when Mike Tyson bit Evander Holyfield’s ears.”
Kimmel added that he initially assumed the slap was staged. “I was watching like most people, and I said to my wife, ‘They did a really good job with that punch – it looked so real.’ And about three seconds later, we realized it was because it was real.” He went on to say that Rock handled the situation as best as he could. “[Rock] didn’t even flinch when Will slapped him. I would have been crying so hard.”
Of course, the comedian couldn’t resist making a few jokes about the incident, noting that “Even Kanye was like, ‘You went on stage and did what at the award show?’,” referencing the rapper’s controversial interruption of Taylor Swift‘s acceptance speech at the 2009 VMAs.
Smith went on to win the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance as Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena Williams, in Reinaldo Marcus Green’s King Richard. During his speech, he apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees for what had transpired earlier in the evening. He did not say sorry to Rock at the time; however, he has since issued an apology to the comedian on social media.
Speaking of the apology, Kimmel said, “It’s like storming out of the house after breaking up with your girlfriend, then coming back in because you forgot your keys.” He then added, “It was historic in that it was the first acceptance speech in which the winner apologized to the Academy before he thanked them.”
Kimmel wasn’t the only late-night host getting his digs in. Over on The Late Show, Stephen Colbert said that the slap was “the worst thing Will Smith has ever done… Wait, forgot about Wild Wild West. I’m kidding, the worst thing he’s ever done is Gemini Man.” Meanwhile, on The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon stated, “America may be divided, but it was kinda nice for all of us to come together and say ‘Holy Crap’ at the same time.”
Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Weeknights, 11:35/10:35c, ABC