Talk show host Jimmy Kimmel is the latest in the string of public figures speaking out about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars on Sunday night.
In the aftermath of the inappropriate joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair loss, caused by an autoimmune disease called alopecia, comedians and actors alike are chiming in on their opinions of what happened.
On Monday, Kimmel broke down the events of Sunday night on an episode of The Bill Simmons Podcast.
Simmons began the discussion by suggesting that The Slap had to have been “the craziest celebrity altercation ever.”
Jimmy agreed with him and added, “Especially when you consider the characters involved.” He called Smith “the nicest guy in Hollywood!” and compared the night’s events to imagining if someone like Tom Hanks, who is equally beloved, had done what Will Smith did.
The two went on to talk about the backlash Rock is experiencing for poking fun at Pinkett Smith’s medical condition, which she has been very open about being a sensitive topic. Kimmel told Simmons that he was hopeful that Rock didn’t know about the condition. In that case, he would have thought that Pinkett Smith had shaved her head as a stylistic choice. Kimmel added that he thought the one-liner seemed like an “off-the-cuff” adlib.
Originally, Kimmel had thought that the slap was a staged part of a skit, and that he and his wife were impressed with how realistically it had played on-screen.
“I said to my wife, ‘they did a really good job of that, that looked really good! Chris didn’t overreact, Will didn’t overreact. These guys did a really solid job with that moment!’ I thought something was planned.”
He also went on to note that, as with the 2017 Best Picture mix-up, Denzel Washington once again played an integral part in the aftermath of Sunday’s events.
“Denzel Washington wound up in the middle of it because as soon as it ended he pulled Will Smith aside and said something to him,” Kimmel said. “Denzel was in the middle of the La La Land/Moonlight fiasco as well.”
“[Denzel] was the one who was directing me from the audience because I was just up [on stage] f-cking around, so maybe he’s the common denominator?”
Simmons said that the altercation managed to surpass the Best Picture fiasco as the “craziest” Oscar moment to date.
“I’m a little bummed because I’ve only hosted the second craziest Oscars of all time,” Kimmel joked.
At one point in the podcast, Kimmel mentioned feeling bad for Smith ruining his “good guy” image in Hollywood, as well as overshadowing his historic first Oscar win.
“You feel bad for a lot of people. [The hosts] had some really great moments and now this is what people are gonna be talking about. You feel bad for Questlove [who won the Best Documentary award], and Chris Rock certainly didn’t deserve that.”
“But in a way I feel bad for Will Smith too,” Kimmel added. “I think he let his emotions get the better of him and this should have been one of the great nights of his life, and now it’s not… was there anyone [in the world] who didn’t like Will Smith an hour ago?”
He suggested that comedians would turn on Smith en masse for his actions at the Oscars.
“Now he doesn’t have a single comedian friend, that’s for sure,” he said. “Comedians are really mad, I feel they all feel like they’re next.”