The man Will Smith portrayed in “King Richard” has weighed in on the actor’s assault on comedian Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars on Sunday night.
Richard Williams, the father of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams, told NBC News on Monday that he condemns violence in almost every situation.
“We don’t know all the details of what happened,” Williams said through his son Chavoita LeSane. “But we don’t condone anyone hitting anyone else unless it’s in self-defense.”
After Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head during the ceremony, Smith walked up on stage and slapped the comedian, and warned, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth!” His wife had shaved her head after publicly sharing her struggles with hair loss, known as alopecia.
A few minutes later, after winning the Oscar for lead actor, Smith apologized to practically everyone except Rock in his acceptance speech and claimed, “I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams.” He added, “But love will make you do crazy things.”
Williams did not offer his reaction to being name-checked in Smith’s speech and, so far, neither have his daughters.
But the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science has.
On Monday, it released a statement condemning Smith’s actions during the Oscars and announced a formal review of his slap.
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