‘Screwed Up Place’: Scarborough Defends Chris Rock After Being Slapped By Will Smith


Nicole Silverio Media Reporter
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MSNBC host Joe Scarborough defended comedian Chris Rock after Will Smith slapped him at the 2022 Academy Awards on Monday’s “Morning Joe.”

Smith walked on stage and slapped Rock across the face for making a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s lack of hair. Smith then demanded that the comedian keep his “wife’s name out of your f*cking mouth” when he returned to his seat.

“Not only did he not apologize to Chris Rock in that moment because he assaulted him,” Scarborough said. “Here’s the thing, actors, we saw all of these clips and all of these stories about people going up to offer Will Smith support. Who’s offering Chris Rock support? Chris Rock told a joke, and that’s what’s happened in these ceremonies for decades and he’s telling a joke and it’s tough enough being a comedian as it is, being up onstage, and he has to keep going.”

“He’s hit onstage for telling a joke and Chris Rock has to keep going and everybody goes up to Will Smith ‘oh, are you ok?’ No, I think they have that backwards and they need to go up to Chris Rock and ask is he ok. Hollywood is a screwed up place,” he continued. “I guess cause Will Smith is a big star everybody asks if he’s ok. No, he’s not ok. It’s obvious he’s not ok.”


Co-host Mika Brzezinski said Rock did not tell “that bad” of a joke and criticized that this is the focus with everything going on in the world. (RELATED: Will Smith Hits Chris Rock During Oscars)

During the commercial break, Smith was comforted by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry, then appeared to wipe away tears as he returned to his seat next to his wife and representative.

Smith apologized shortly after the incident when he won his first Oscar for Best Actor.

“I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment,” Smith tearfully said. “I’m not crying for winning an award, it’s not about winning for me…It’s about being able to shine a light on all of the people. Art imitates life, I look like the crazy father just like they said about Mr. Williams. Love makes you do crazy things.”