Add Billy Crystal to the list of celebrities outraged and disturbed by Will Smith and his Oscar incident involving Chris Rock.
While the entertainment world is suffering fatigue from the confrontation that took over the headlines at the 94th Academy Awards, the incident has sparked some discussion, mostly centering around what Smith go away with at the awards ceremony.
This is where the 74-year-old comedian didn’t mince words, calling the slap heard around the world exactly what it was…an assault.
Billy Crystal weighs in on Will Smith storming the stage to slap Chris Rock
Appearing on the HBO Max Bob Costas show “Back on the Record,” Crystal weighed in offering a unique perspective as not only a 9-time host of the Academy Awards, but a host of other high-profile awards shows.
"“It was a most disturbing incident for sure. It was an assault,” Crystal said, as transcribed by ET Online. “I’ve had experiences. I hosted the GRAMMYs three times and I’ve been thrown things.”"
Whether there was more behind Smith’s attack on Rock after the blunt comedian aimed a joke at Jada Pinkett Smith, there was a time and place to address any ill will (no pun intended). In fact, Rock showed a control on stage that should be admired whether you are on Team Will or Team Chris in this one.
But should there have been more control of the show. No shade to co-hosts Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, and Regina Hall, but Crystal emphasized the need for a host at these types of ceremonies. In primarily taking aim at years in which there was no host, Crystal explained there is an element of control that a host brings more of a formula and structure to the stage.
Want your voice heard? Join the Champagne And Shade team!
"“I sort of set myself up to host the show, really host the show, so you can tie it together,” Crystal continued. “So, whenever I see shows that it’s a no-host show, year, it went faster, but there’s nobody there to capitalize on anything and give the audience the feeling of there’s somebody in charge.”"
Would Billy Crystal have been able to stop Will Smith from bulldozing the stage? Perhaps not, but he could’ve at least been there to walk out and pick up Chris Rock who was obviously masking both embarrassment and shock over the incident.
As far as this year’s hosts, both Sykes and Schumer have shared in Crystal’s description of the incident as disturbing. Smith, who went on to win best actor, has since apologized and resigned from the academy, but it appears he will have more than the reputation of his career to recover.
The incident was more of a slap to who Will Smith is as a person, in which he needs to work on. Or else, this will be a scar he won’t be able to heal from…from the receiving end, neither will Chris Rock.