Wanda Sykes Reveals Chris Rock Apologized To Her For Will Smith’s Slap In 1st Post Oscars Interview

When speaking for the first time about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock, Oscars host Wanda Sykes said that the first thing Chris did when they met post-slap was to apologize for taking away her moment.

“I saw Chris [Rock] at Guy [Oseary] ‘s party,” Wanda Sykes told Ellen DeGeneres on the Mar. 30 episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show, “and soon as I walked up to him, the first thing that he said was, ‘I’m so sorry.'” Wanda, 58, spoke about her experience hosting the 2022 Oscars and the fallout from Will Smith slapping Chris, 57. Wanda asked him why he was apologizing. “He was like, ‘it was supposed to be your night. You, Amy [Schumer], and Regina [Hall] were doing such a great job. I’m so sorry. Now, this is going to be about this.’ That’s who Chris is.”

Earlier in the interview, Wanda recalled where she was when Will, 53, smacked the Madagascar star for making a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith. “I was – I think we had finished the bit,” Wanda said, referring to how her cohosts had dressed up as characters from the year’s biggest movies (oddly enough, Wanda had dressed as Will from King Richard.) “I guess I was about to change to get into PJs, but – we had just introduced Chris, Regina and I introduced him from our bit.” Wanda said she ran to her trailer to change, and by the time she got back to the Dolby Theatre, she had missed it. “I just saw Will leave the stage, and everything was quiet,” she said.

(Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.)

“And then, Will just starts cursing from his seat – ‘keep my wife’s name,’ whatever – and I was just like, ‘is this really happening?'” continued Wanda. Someone at the Oscars showed Wanda a video of Will smacking Chris on their phone. “And I felt so awful for my friend, Chris,” she said. Like Amy said in her reflection on the incident, Wanda said she thought the incident was “sickening” and “physically felt ill – and I’m still a little traumatized by it.”

“For them to let him stay in that room, and enjoy the rest of the show, and accept his award, I was like, ‘How gross is this?’ This is just the wrong message. You know, you assault somebody, you get escorted out the building, and that’s it. But for them to let him continue, I thought it was gross,” said Wanda. She also joked that after Will won the Best Actor award, she would go out and say, “Unfortunately, Will couldn’t be here tonight…”

(Rob Latour/Shutterstock)

Will issued a public apology for his actions one day after the Oscars. “My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable,” he wrote. Will said that while he can handle “jokes at my expense,” comments about Jada’s alopecia/autoimmune disorder are “too much for me to bear.” Will admitted to acting emotionally, and he formally apologized to 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,” he wrote.

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