Wanda Sykes says she is 'a little traumatized' from Will Smith's Oscars slap

"I physically felt ill."

ByStephen Iervolino via via logo
March 30, 2022, 3:17 PM

Two of Sunday night's Oscars hosts, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes, have broken their silence about the so-called "slap heard 'round the world."

During an appearance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Sykes vented about the Oscars moment everyone has been talking about.

The actress and comedian, who co-hosted the 94th Annual Academy Awards with Regina Hall and Schumer, told Ellen she's "sickened" by what went down on the stage, when Will Smith slapped, then cursed , at presenter Chris Rock after Rock made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Smith has since issued an apology.

"For something to happen like what happened with Will and Chris, it takes away from so many things," said DeGeneres, a former Oscars host herself. "Absolutely," Sykes agreed.

"It took away from Questlove's win, it took away from the Williams family...," DeGeneres continued.

Sykes then recalled her perspective on what happened. "We had just introduced Chris ... so I ran to my trailer to watch him ... and when I got to the monitor backstage, I just saw Will leaving the stage, and everything was quiet. And I was like, 'What happened, what happened?!'"

Sykes said from her vantage point, she could hear Smith cursing from his seat, and, "I was like, 'Is this really happening?'

"I just felt so awful for my friend Chris," Sykes said. "It was sickening. I physically felt ill and I'm still a little traumatized by it."

She went on, "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 the building, and that's it."

"And plus, I wanted to be able to run out after he won and say, 'Unfortunately, Will couldn't be here tonight,'" Sykes said to applause.

It was sickening. I physically felt ill and I'm still a little traumatized by it.

She then expressed how it affected her role as a co-host of the awards show.

"I know he apologized to Chris, but, I believe that we were the hosts, right? So we were, this is our house, we're inviting you in, we're hosts, we're gonna take care of y'all tonight and make sure you have a good time," she explained. "And no one has apologized to us and we worked really hard to put that show together. So just the industry itself, I'm like, 'What the hell is this?' It's just wrong."

Schumer commented on the situation in an Instagram post.

"Still triggered and traumatized," she wrote. "I love my friend @chrisrock and believe he handled it like a pro. Stayed up there and gave an Oscar to his friend @questlove and the whole thing was so disturbing. So much pain in @willsmith."

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."

The now infamous Oscars 2022 moment happened when Will Smith stormed the stage, slapped and then cursed Chris Rock after he took a swipe at Smith's wife, likening her close-cropped hair to Demi Moore's Navy SEAL bald cut in "G.I. Jane."

Pinkett-Smith shaved her head because she suffers from hair loss as a result of alopecia. After the incident, Smith tearfully collected his best actor trophy for "King Richard."

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said Monday it "condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night's show."

The organization further announced it has "officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law."

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