Wanda Sykes is the latest Hollywood star to condemn Will Smith for striking Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars on Sunday.
“Violence is never the answer,” the comedian said in a simple statement shared with People on Wednesday. Sykes did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Sykes also appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show on Wednesday, where she elaborated on her feelings. “I just felt so awful for my friend Chris,” she said. “It was sickening. I physically felt ill, and I’m still a little traumatized by it. For them to let him stay in that room and enjoy the rest of the show and accept his award. I was like, ‘How gross is this?’ This is just the wrong message.”
“You assault somebody, you get escorted out of the building. That’s it,” she continued.
Sykes added that, while Smith did eventually apologize to Rock, she was disappointed that she and fellow hosts Amy Schumer and Regina Hall haven’t received an apology for how the moment impacted their night.
“We were the hosts. This is our house, we’re inviting you all in, we’re going to take care of you tonight and make sure you have a good time,” Sykes said. “No one has apologized to us, and we worked really hard to put that show together.”
In fact, the only person who has expressed his remorse to the hosts is Rock, Sykes revealed. When the two connected at an after party following the ceremony, Sykes said the comedian was immediately regretful of how the scenario played out.
“As soon as I walked up, the first thing he said to me was, ‘I am so sorry. It was supposed to be your night,” she said. “You and Amy and Regina were doing such a good job. I’m so sorry this is going to be about this.’ That’s who Chris is.”
During Sunday’s ceremony, Smith stormed the stage and smacked Rock in the face after he joked that he was excited to see Jada Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia, in a “G.I. Jane” sequel due to her shaved head. Smith then repeatedly told Rock: “Keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth!”
Sykes is the second of the trio to speak out about the incident, after Schumer said she was “still triggered and traumatized.”
“I love my friend @chrisrock and believe he handled it like a pro,” Schumer wrote. “Stayed up there and gave an Oscar to his friend @questlove and the whole thing was so disturbing.”
She added, “I’m still in shock and stunned and sad. Im proud of myself and my cohosts. But yeah. Waiting for this sickening feeling to go away from what we all witnessed.”
So far, Hall has not issued a statement.