Richard Williams has made it clear that he supports Will Smith amid the Chris Rock controversy and his recent Netflix comedy special. Richard said he saw nothing wrong with the infamous Oscars slap and called for Will’s Oscar ban to be lifted.
Since the slapping incident, Will has publicly apologized and said he’d reached out to Rock privately. He made a video saying his reaction was emotional and he was embarrassed by his actions.
Rock spoke about the slap and Jada Pinkett Smith’s infamous affair in his Netflix special.
Read on to find out more.
Richard Williams Stands By Will Smith’s Actions
In 2022, Will Smith had a massive controversy over slapping Chris Rock onstage at the Academy Awards ceremony. Richard Williams, father to Serena and Venus Williams, whom Will portrayed in “King Richard,” has now come to the actor’s defense.
Richard had an interview on “Good Morning Britain,” where he said he’d seen nothing wrong with Will slapping Rock. He said per Insider, “I’ll always stand by him. 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.”
Richard Williams Called For The Academy Ban To Be Lifted
During the interview, Richard also called for the Oscars Academy to lift the 10-year ban placed on Smith after the incident. He criticized the negative treatment of Will and the length of the punishment, saying, “It should be just one day or no more than a week at the most.”
The retired Tennis coach also made it clear he “didn’t feel sorry” for Rock after the slap, hinting that Will was justified in defending Jada Pinkett Smith, his wife. Richard said, “I’m 81 years old but when I was about 51 years or younger, I almost killed any damn one, so I think Mr. Smith done a great deal now.”
He added, “It’s time for everyone to forgive Will Smith.” Last year, after the viral incident, Richard’s son, Chavoita LeSane, spoke to NBC News and said his father would never “condone anyone hitting anyone else” unless the person was acting in self-defense.
Will Smith Has Severally Apologized For The Incident
Since the incident, Will has made multiple public apologies and even resigned from the Academy a few days before they announced his ban. While the “Shark Tale” actor has yet to make a direct apology to Rock, he confirmed late last year that he’d reached out privately.
In an official video addressing the incident, Will wrote, “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable.” The actor explained that the joke about Jada’s alopecia overwhelmed him and caused an emotional reaction.
Will apologized to Rock, saying, “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.” The “Emancipation” star further apologized to the Academy, the show’s producers and attendees, the Williams family, and his fans worldwide.
Chris Rock Calls Out Will And Jada Pinkett Smith
Rock, however, is yet to make any formal statements about the slap, preferring to make multiple jokes about it in his comedy sets. His latest Netflix special, “Selective Outrage,” contained his first lengthy statements about Will, Jada, and the incident.
Rock also spoke about the infamous “Red Table Talk,” during which Will and Jada discussed her affair with singer August Alsina. The special is Netflix’s first live-streamed event and held in Baltimore, Maryland, which is coincidentally Jada’s hometown.
During the special, Rock said, “Ya’ll know what happened to me, getting smacked by Suge Smith. People are like did it hurt? It still hurts! I got ‘Summertime’ ringing in my ear.” He added, “But I’m not a victim baby, you will never see me on Oprah or Gayle crying, you will never see it. Never going to happen. I took that hit like Pacquiao.”