Howard Stern is hitting back at Will Smith after the actor physically lashed out at presenter Chris Rock during the live Oscars telecast on Sunday.
“Obviously, he’s got emotional problems,” Stern said during Monday’s episode of his Sirius XM show. “Where’s security? This is a live television event. Not one person came out, because he’s Will Smith. He decided he’s gonna take matters into his own hands — at a time when the world is at war. Bad timing, man. I mean, calm your f***ing a** down.”
“Here’s Hollywood that’s so outraged by every little thing. Not one person got up and said, ‘Hold on, we got an out-of-control situation here.’ How this guy was allowed to sit there for the rest of the awards, and he’s laughing it up and having a good time with his wife?” Stern stated. “What he did was he just assaulted Chris Rock.”
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The altercation shocked celeb guests in attendance and viewers who saw Smith react to Rock’s joke about wife Jada Pinkett Smith. Rock suggested her shaved head made her ready for “G.I. Jane 2” in reference to the 1997 Demi Moore movie which saw Moore shave her head. Smith then got up and stalked across the stage, landing a blow across a stunned Rock’s face. He then returned to his seat and yelled for Rock to “keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.” Pinkett Smith has been open about her hair loss through alopecia, an autoimmune disorder.
“This is a sign of great mental illness when you can’t control your impulse,” added Stern, who has been open about his own emotional struggles. “He didn’t think twice about what he was about to do. Now that’s crazy, when you can’t contain yourself like that.”
READ MORE: Will Smith, Chris Rock Confrontation Shocks Oscar Audience
Stern was also clear to point out he didn’t find Rock’s joke amusing or clever.
“Not only that, it was hardly an insulting joke. It was not even a good joke. The joke, quite frankly, was beneath Chris Rock. It was a throwaway: ‘You look like G.I. Janev'” Stern said. “Poor Chris Rock is a comedian and just trying to get through the day to make the f***ing people laugh at that horrible ceremony.”
“[Rock is] so fast comedy-wise, he actually covered and made a joke and said, ‘Gee, best Oscars yet,'” Stern said, applauding Rock’s composure.
He added, “You don’t hit people over speech, certainly not at the Academy Awards, and Will Smith’s got to contain himself.”
Stern’s opinion was seconded by comedian Nikki Glaser, who called in to share her thoughts.
“I know for a fact it was not a dig against her having alopecia,” Glaser said of Rock’s joke. “He never would’ve made that joke had he known it was a medical condition that she had.”
“It is bizarre because this guy has been lobbying to win the Academy Award forever and the night he’s going to win — what does he do? — he ruins the moment,” said Stern’s co-host Robin Quivers of Smith.
“He was shook up there,” Glaser agreed. “He was so ashamed. You can tell he was not someone who was excited he won.”