Though multiple reports are conflicting as to whether Will Smith was asked to leave the Oscars after slapping Chris Rock on stage, “The View” co-host and Academy governor Whoopi Goldberg maintained on Thursday that he actually was.
The hosts of “The View” didn’t kick the show off by discussing the slap again, but they did eventually circle around to it, with hosts Sunny Hostin and Tara Setmayer marveling at the idea that Smith was simply given the option to leave rather than required to.
“I don’t think that’s how it went down,” Whoopi shot back. “I think that he was asked to leave.”
That said, Goldberg made sure to point out multiple times that she is not an official spokesperson for the Academy. You can watch the segment from “The View” in the video above.
When Hostin and Setmayer doubled down on the idea that Smith shouldn’t have had a choice, Goldberg painted a picture of what she says could have happened if the Academy had tried to force the issue.
“Well, OK, so they come back from break. Now, if he’s in some sort of state, and he’s struggling, and you’re trying to get him out the door — and it’s still on camera,” Whoopi said. “So it’s a little bit — you know, listen, we work a live show every day. We work a live show every day and stuff happens and comes out your mouth, or you do something stupid, and you got to sit there and deal with it.
“I can’t imagine what was going on, I wasn’t there. I can’t imagine what was going on back there. But I do know that the only person anybody should be focusing on in my opinion, is Will Smith, not Packer,” Whoopi added of Oscars producer Will Packer.
The discussion spanned two segments, with host Joy Behar pointing out after the commercial break that Whoopi is in fact an Academy governor. Behar then questioned why Whoopi hasn’t had more to say on the incident.
“Well I can’t, because I’m not their spokesperson, and everything they had to say, they’ve said,” Whoopi replied.
At that point, “The View” producer Brian Teta informed the women that, in a new report released by Variety this morning, it was said that the Academy never actually asked Smith to leave, despite their statement on Wednesday.
“Well he actually was,” Whoopi immediately said. “He actually was. He was asked to leave.”