Sunny Hostin was as shocked as everyone at Will Smith rushing the stage to slap Chris Rock at the Oscars on Sunday March 27. The View co-host was just as surprised by the people rallying around the King Richard actor, likening him to a child hitting another kid at school, during a “Hot Topics” discussion on Monday March 28. “I was embarrassed for Will. I was horrified for Chris Rock,” she said during the Monday March 28 episode.
WILL SMITH ASSAULTS CHRIS ROCK OVER JOKE: History was made at Sunday's Academy Awards, but #TheView co-hosts weigh in on the altercation everyone is talking about and discuss if it overshadowed the moments that should have been celebrated. https://t.co/Ah9MDZwvCD #Oscars pic.twitter.com/kNMoxwHKeh
— The View (@TheView) March 28, 2022
Even though Will made a general apology in his speech, Sunny felt like he’d left out the person who deserved one the most: Chris himself. “Will apologized to the Academy, and he apologized to his colleagues and the other nominees, but he didn’t apologize to Chris Rock,” she said. “I thought Chris was the one that deserved an apology for taking the high road. He was slapped in front of millions of people internationally, and he took the high road in his response.”
Ultimately, Sunny explained that Will’s response wouldn’t be appropriate for a child, let alone an actor who took home an Oscar that same night. “I think that Will was immature. I think he was childish, and I think he was violent,” she said. “That’s something we tell our children not to do, right? Our children would be suspended from school for doing something like that. Use your words. If he’s a Grammy Award-winning rapper, shouldn’t he have been able to say something?” During the next segment, Sunny said she was surprised that Will wasn’t asked to leave the show, and even more surprised that he got a standing ovation during his acceptance speech.
Other than finding the slap out of line, she also said that since Will and Jada Pinkett Smith are celebrities, jokes do come with the territory. “When you live publicly, you do open up yourself to jokes. You open up yourself to commentary,” she explained. “When you live publicly, you don’t have the right to all of a sudden execute violence.”
Sunny summed it up by calling the slap a show of “toxic masculinity.” The other View co-hosts also explained that they felt that Will was out of line by hitting the Never Scared comedian. Joy Behar said that she felt like the best approach to take when you’re upset over a joke is to just “walk off.” Ana Navarro also said that while she felt like Chris didn’t deserve to be hit, the whole thing was “Men behaving badly.” Whoopi Goldberg also said that the actor “overreacted” to the joke.
During the following segment discussing the show’s other highlights, the show’s hosts complimented Amy Schumer, Regina Hall, and Wanda Sykes for their excellent jobs emceeing the show and “roasting” (as Joy put it) the Oscars through their jokes. “None of them got smacked,” Sunny said.