Billy Crystal Makes His Feelings About Will Smith's Oscars Slap Extremely Clear

There's no doubt that the #SlapGate scandal at the 2022 Oscars sent shockwaves through Hollywood. About midway through the show, Chris Rock appeared on stage to present an award but in true Chris Rock fashion, he made sure to poke fun at a few of his peers, including Jada Pinkett-Smith. The comedian compared Jada's buzzed haircut to Demi Moore's character in "G.I. Jane," and Will Smith didn't take it lightly. The star stormed the stage and slapped Rock across the face in one of the most shocking moments in Oscar history. Will later apologized to Rock, but many think that it's too little too late and that the moment could permanently ruin his career.

Reviews have been mixed. Will's son Jaden Smith voiced his support for his famous father amid the drama with a tweet. Willow Smith has also seemingly addressed the subject. "​​You know who's going through a lot right now? Literally everyone. Just be kind," she wrote after the incident, per Page Six. Tiffany Haddish also voiced her support for the star, applauding him for standing up for his wife.

But even though Will seems to have his family and a small number of friends behind him, many people in the industry are appalled by his actions. Judd Apatow was one of the first celebrities to slam Will, claiming that Will's slap could have killed Rock in a since-deleted tweet. Billy Crystal also shared his thoughts on the now-viral moment, and he stands with most of his peers.

Bill Crystal calls the Will Smith slap disturbing

We don't need a crystal ball to know Billy Crystal's thoughts on Will Smith's viral Oscar moment. The actor knows a thing or two about Oscars, considering he's hosted the event nine times. Crystal gave his two cents about how he felt about the newsworthy slap during an appearance on "Back on the Record" on HBO Max. "It was an assault. I've had experiences. I hosted the Grammys three times, and I've been thrown things," he told Bob Costas, per Deadline. However, the actor deemed the incident worse than any that came before.

"In [Oscars] pre-production, the amazing Gil Cates, we would go through – he was the producer for six of the nine that I did – we would go through the rundown, and I'd say, 'Maybe I should be there because something might happen there. If that person wins, I should follow that," Crystal explained. He continued by sharing his thoughts on the hosting duties, stating that he really put his best foot forward when he hosted and he tried to give everyone the notion that there was someone in charge.

Crystal isn't the only former host to weigh in. Amy Schumer, who was one of three hosts during the 2022 Oscars, also shared her thoughts on the incident in a since-deleted post. Schumer told fans that she felt "shock and stunned and sad" after the incident, and she was just waiting for the "sickening feeling to go away." All around, it's just an unfortunate situation. 

Slap jokes

Though it was the first time we got Billy Crystal's true thoughts, this actually wasn't the first time the multiple time Oscars host had mentioned the now infamous Will Smith/Chris Rock slap. The star made a joke about the incident during a dress rehearsal for "Mr. Saturday Night," his Broadway show, on March 29. He didn't directly address what happened by naming names, but quipped, per New York Post, "We got through a show and no one got slapped. Unbelievable."

That's not the only show that's seen its fair share of quips, either. The Grammys didn't go unscathed, with several presenters bringing up the drama during and pre-telecast. Trevor Noah joked about the incident while hosting the show on April 3, shadily joking, "Don't even think of it as an awards show. It's a concert where we are giving out awards, we will be listening to music, dancing, singing, keeping people's names out of our mouths and we are going to give people awards all throughout the night."

There were more shots fired when Questlove presented an award, as he joked, per E! News, "Alright, I am going to present this award and I trust that you people will stay 500 feet away from me." And let's not forget the pre-show, where LeVar Burton teased the drama, per New York Post, "So I need to caution everybody: Remain in your seats and keep your hands to yourself. Alright?" before Nate Bargatze walked on stage in a helmet.

What will happen to Will?

Things aren't over yet for Will Smith. The star is still facing possible disciplinary action for slapping Chris Rock, despite stepping down from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, with the organization seeming determined to potentially bring swift action against the "Men In Black" star. A hearing was initially supposed to take place on April 18, but it was confirmed on April 6 that date had been brought forward to April 8. "The April 18 date was set in accordance with California law and our Standards of Conduct because our agenda included possible suspension or expulsion of Mr. Smith from membership," Academy president David Rubin said in a message to Academy members that was obtained by Variety. Rubin also claimed that Will was given the chance to provide a statement in writing.

The academy had previously confirmed that multiple routes of action could be taken against the actor before he stepped down, including expulsion. It also claimed in a statement, per The Hollywood Reporter, that Will had supposedly been asked to leave the ceremony in the wake of the slap but had refused. TMZ, however, refuted that claim and instead alleged that Will was told he could stay.

Whatever happens or happened, it seems like this drama isn't going away anytime soon.