Academy Award winner, Academy governor, and four-time Oscars host Whoopi Goldberg took to “The View” on Monday morning, bright and early after the Oscars ceremony, to respond to Will Smith’s viral moment during last night’s telecast.
“I think he overreacted,” Whoopi Goldberg said, noting repeated jokes about Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s marriage over the years, including 2016 Oscars host Chris Rock that year. “I would’ve been a little annoyed. I think he had one of those moments where it was just like G-D it. Just stop. And you’ve got all the pressure of hoping that you’re going to win and trying to keep your face.”
Goldberg added, “I get it. Not everybody acts the way we would like them to under pressure. Some people just snap. He snapped. What I do want to say was that it was remarkable, wonderful, that Chris Rock did not take it to that other place it could’ve gone. I don’t know if they spoke or apologized or not. All I know is sometimes you get to a point where you behave badly. I myself have behaved badly on occasion.”
While Goldberg dismissed the idea that the Academy could rescind Smith’s Oscar nomination — pointing out that Chris Rock declined to press charges — she did say, “There will be consequences for sure,” but “we’re not going to take that Oscar from him.”
In 2016, Rock cracked a joke directed at Pinkett Smith over her boycott of the Oscars that year over its lack of diversity, and a nomination for Best Actor Will Smith for “Concussion.” “Jada said she’s not coming, protest. I was like, ‘Isn’t she on a TV show?’ Jada’s going to boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited!” he said that year.
During last night’s ceremony, Chris Rock, who was introducing the category for Best Documentary, made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s haircut. (The actress has been vocal about grappling with alopecia, and thus has had to maintain a shaved hairstyle.) Smith then stormed the stage and accosted with Rock, slapping him in the face before resuming his seat and shouting, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.” The moment completely drowned out Questlove’s Best Documentary win for “Summer of Soul” and overshadowed the entirety of the ceremony thereafter.
Oscar presenter Tiffany Haddish went on to defend Will Smith after the ceremony. “When I saw a Black man stand up for his wife, that meant so much to me,” said Haddish, who co-starred with Jada Pinkett Smith in “Girls Trip.” “As a woman, who has been unprotected, for someone to say, ‘Keep my wife’s name out your mouth, leave my wife alone,’ that’s what your husband is supposed to do, right? Protect you, and that meant the world to me.”