Former Oscars Host Billy Crystal Opens Up About ‘Shocking’ Will Smith Slap Moment, But Shares Thoughts About Chris Rock’s Jada Pinkett Smith Joke


It’s been a little over three weeks since the 2022 Academy Award winners were announced, but the ceremony is still being talked about. While Amy Schumer has garnered some attention for her controversial bit with Kirsten Dunst and a scrapped joke involving Alec Baldwin, the chief topic that remains on many minds is Will Smith slapping Chris Rock after the comedian joked about Jada Pinkett Smith. Billy Crystal, who goes way back with the Oscars, has given his take on both the slap itself and the Joke Rock told.

If anyone’s qualified to talk about the Oscars, it’s Billy Crystal, as the When Harry Met Sally actor has hosted the ceremony nine times, the first time in 1990 and most recently in 2012. He dropped by CNN+’s Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace (via Mediaite) to talk about his career, and when the eponymous host brought up Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards, Crystal had this to say about the incident itself:

So and I thought Chris handle himself as well as he could and to keep it together. It was a shocking moment that I was concerned. Very much for the mental state of Will. That’s what, I was kind of very worried and concerned and shocked by the aftermath of that, too.

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