The hosts of “The View” have mixed feelings over the Academy’s decision to ban Will Smith from all events and programs, including the Oscars, for 10 years.
“Eh. So what?” Behar quipped. “Who wants to go to that anyway?”
On Friday the Academy announced they were taking action as “a step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring trust in the Academy. We also hope this can begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted.” Smith, who had resigned from the Academy prior to their decision after slapping Chris Rock during the live ceremony, said “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision”.
Opening the debate on “The View” as to whether Smith’s punishment was justified and appropriate, host Sara Haines says it felt like too long to her.
“I actually, when I heard 10, I thought that felt like a lot of time. You talk about someone having growth, and taking time to recognize he did something wrong, it felt like overkill in some ways,” she argues. “I thought maybe he’d be out for three to five years, or not be able to — now he won’t be able to — present next year, and all that felt appropriate. But when I heard a whole decade….”
However, Sunny Hostin and guest co-host Alyssa Farah Griffin agreed with the Academy’s decision, stating the punishment felt warranted due to the physical nature of the incident.
“I actually thought it was appropriate. I think there are like a thousand responses short of physical violence that you could’ve defended your wife,” Griffin says. “Use your words, like we teach our kids that. It was just such a dark moment that took away from the art that we were celebrating.”
“We love him. He’s one of the most phenomenal actors and just such a positive force in the work that he does but that was a very disproportionate reaction, I would say,” Griffin adds.
While Hostin agrees the punishment is “appropriate for what we saw” she criticized those who placed the blame [for] Smith’s actions on Jada Pinkett Smith.
“I never think that you should blame the actions of one spouse on the other,” Hostin says. “I’m surprised that has sort of been what everything is about now.”