Serena Williams' dad comes to Will Smith's defence over Oscars slap
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Serena and Venus Williams’ father has defended Will Smith's slap at the Oscars and says his ban from the Academy should be ‘lifted’.
King Richard himself appeared on the UK TV show Good Morning Britain when he was asked about the infamous moment at the 2022 Academy Awards.
Williams, who was depicted by Smith in the 2021 biopic King Richard, shared his support for the actor and said he didn’t feel ‘sorry for [Chris] Rock’.
"I think he has done the best thing he needed to do, but I would never be disgusted with Mr Smith. Matter of fact, I appreciate Mr Smith," he said.
When asked if what Smith did was inappropriate, the 81-year-old said his actions were justified in defending his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, over Rock’s alopecia joke.
“I don't see nothing wrong with that,” he said.
He added: "When I was about 51 years or younger, I almost killed any damn one. So I think Mr Smith has done a great deal not to."
The former tennis coach also said he believes the actor’s 10-year ban from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should be lifted.
He added that the actor should’ve been banned for ‘one day or one week at the most’.
And the comedian didn’t hold back.
At one point in the special, Rock says: "Y'all know what happened to me, getting smacked by 'Suge Smith'."
The term seemingly references Suge Knight, the Death Row Records founder sentenced to 28 years in prison in 2018 for manslaughter.
"I got smacked at the f**king Oscars by this motherf**ker," he continues.
Rock went on to say that although the slap 'hurt', he didn't cry about it because he's 'not a victim'.
"You will never see me on Oprah or Gayle, crying," appearing to roast Smith's tearful apologies in the aftermath of the incident.
"You will never see it, never gonna happen... I took that hit like [Manny] Pacquiao."
Rock adds that he 'rooted for Will Smith' his whole life, adding: "And now, I watch Emancipation just to see him get whooped."
Finishing his set, he explained why he didn't hit fightback.
"I've got parents, and you know what my parents taught me? Don’t fight in front of white people,” he said.
The audience then erupted in laughter as he dropped the mic.