Bradley Cooper has emerged since the Oscar drama between Will Smith and Chris Rock. The 47-year-old actor, who was seen intensely talking to Will shortly after he slapped Chris on-stage, stepped out for a low key walk in New York City on Wednesday, March 30. Bradley was casually dressed in a black zip-up windbreaker and black jeans for the solo stroll. The Hangover star finished his look with a pair of gray sneakers with red laces.
Bradley made headlines pertaining to Will’s unexpected violent reaction towards Rock on Oscar Sunday as he was one of the first to speak to the King Richard actor. The controversial slap occurred after Chris cracked a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s bald head, saying “G.I. Jane 2 — can’t wait to see it” (notably Demi Moore rocked a buzz cut for the G.I. Jane movie in the ’90s). The joke was inappropriate given Jada’s public battle with alopecia as a result of an auto-immune disease, which she’s discussed on her show Red Table Talk and on social media.
“Wow, dude,” Chris quipped on stage, evidently stunned by what just happened on national television. After the slap, Will screamed twice, “keep my wife’s name out your f—– mouth!” — all of which was bleeped from television by the Oscars control room. Instead of going to break, the show shockingly continued as Chris presented an award to Questlove for his documentary Summer of Soul.
During the commercial break, Will Smith is pulled aside and comforted by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry, who motion for him to brush it off. Will appears to wipe tears from his eyes as he sits back down with Jada, with Denzel comforting Jada and Will’s rep by his side. pic.twitter.com/uDGVnWrSS2
— Scott Feinberg (@ScottFeinberg) March 28, 2022
As commercial break rolled around, several journalists and photographers were able to capture Will in conversation after the slap. Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry initially were seen talking to an emotional Will, per a video from The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg who indicated that the two men seemed to be “comforted” by his friends. Shortly after, Bradley beelined towards Will and put both hands on his shoulders for a brief, but intense conversation that ended in a hug as the show was about to return to air. There’s no indication about what the Nightmare Alley star said to Will, who went on to win the Best Actor trophy for King Richard.
While there’s been shock and outrage that Will wasn’t removed from the Dolby Theatre, The Academy stated that they asked Will “to leave” but he “refused” in a statement on March 30. Notably, Will apologized for his behavior in his lengthy and emotional acceptance speech, as well as via social media.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” Will wrote in part via Instagram on March 28. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”