Actor and former Academy Awards host Billy Crystal said that Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock at this year’s Oscars was “an assault.”
“It was an assault. I’ve had experiences. I hosted the Grammys three times and I’ve been thrown things,” Billy Crystal said in interview with Bob Costas on HBO Max’s Back on the Record, according to a report by Deadline.
The actor added that Smith’s attack was the “most disturbing incident, for sure.”
Crystal is not the only member of Hollywood to call out Smith for his attack on Rock during this year’s Oscars.
Many in Hollywood turned on the actor, referring to his actions as a display of “toxic masculinity,” calling his excuses for hitting the comedian “bullshit,” and even remarking that Smith’s behavior has likely set a “terrible precedent” for comedians on stage.
The co-hosts of this year’s Academy Awards also reacted to Smith’s onstage meltdown, with Amy Schumer saying “the whole thing was so disturbing,” and Wanda Sykes calling the moment “sickening,” adding, “you assault somebody, you get escorted out of the building and that’s it. For them to let him continue, I thought it was gross.”
This type of thuggish behavior has no place in civilized society. Will Smith needs to be charged for assault. pic.twitter.com/MydlQBTqBT
— Brigitte Gabriel (@ACTBrigitte) March 28, 2022
The Academy Awards condemned the battery, declaring that it “does not condone violence in any form,” and later announced a formal investigation into the matter.
The Academy does not condone violence of any form.
Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) March 28, 2022
After attacking, Rock, Smith went on to collect his Oscar for Best Actor in King Richard, and later danced the night away at the Vanity Fair Oscars after party.
WATCH: Will Smith, along with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, dances to his own tunes at the Vanity Fair #Oscars After-party.
— Aayush Sharma (@JournoAayu) March 28, 2022
Last week, the Academy said in a statement it had asked Smith to leave the event after he attacked Rock, but the actor refused.
Smith, however, later resigned from the Motion Picture Academy, saying in a statement that his “actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable.”
But on Wednesday, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) president David Rubin told the Board of Governors he is moving the AMPAS meeting to Friday to address possible sanctions on Smith.
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