Ricky Gervais has offered his two cents’ worth on Will Smith’s notorious Oscars slap, insisting he would never had joked about the actor’s wife Jada Pinkett-Smith’s hair loss, but would have ribbed her about her ‘boyfriend’ instead.
The comedian, 60, was originally pushed for his opinion on social media when Best Actor winner Will, 53, stormed on stage following a line from emcee Chris Rock, 57, during Sunday’s 94th Academy Awards in Los Angeles when Chris made a comment about Jada’s shaved head, jesting: ‘Jada, can’t wait for G.I. Jane 2.’
And, after Will stormed on stage and slapped Chris across the face before returning to his seat and shouting ‘keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth’, Ricky’s fans around the world were keen to know what he would have done having made unforgiving digs at his fellow stars while hosting the Golden Globe Awards in 2020.
Chiming in: Ricky Gervais, 60, has offered his two cents’ worth on Will Smith’s notorious Oscars slap, insisting he would never had joked about the actor’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair (pictured 2020)
While testing new material at a show in London’s Highgate this week, Ricky said according to the Mirror: ‘I’ll get it out of the way. I have not got any Will Smith material. I trended when that happened and I was not even there.
‘What has it got to do with me? People were going “What would have happened if Ricky Gervais had been doing it (hosting Oscars)?”
‘Well, nothing as I would not have made a joke about his wife’s hair. I would have made a joke about her boyfriend.’
Offended: Best Actor winner Will, 53, stormed on stage following a line from emcee Chris Rock, 57, during Sunday’s awards in LA when Chris made a comment about Jada’s shaved head
Jada hit the headlines in June 2020 when singer August Alsina, 29, claimed he had been in a relationship with Jada, with the actress later confirming they were in an ‘entanglement’.
The joke made by Chris during Sunday’s Oscars referenced Jada’s buzz cut which she had done after suffering hair loss due to alopecia, a condition the awards host was reportedly unaware Jada suffered with.
But Ricky joked this week that he may name his new tour after the condition, saying: ‘This new material is going to be for my new show called Armageddon. I might change that to Alopecia.’
Controversy: Will Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars Sunday, with the inident making headlines around the world
Ricky skewered ‘woke’ Hollywood, made jokes about Jeffrey Epstien, Harvey Weinstein and Prince Andrew, and tackled topics such as MeToo and ISIS as he left his A-list audience wincing during his opening monologue at the 77th Golden Globe awards in 2020.
Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, and Gwyneth Paltrow were left with stunned looks on their faces as the funnyman mocked Felicity Huffman over the college admission scandal, branded James Corden a ‘massive p****’ and ripped Judi Dench for ‘licking’ her own private parts in his eight-minute speech.
In a particularly blunt moment, he advised those receiving awards to avoid making political speeches because ‘you’re in no position to tell the public about anything’ before adding: ‘If you win, come up, accept your little award, thank your agent, and your God and f*** off.’
Shock: Chris covered his jaw after being slapped in the face but went on to announce the winner for best documentary after a very awkward pause
The comic, hosting for the fifth time, underlined his point by joking: ‘You say you’re woke but the companies you work for in China — unbelievable. Apple, Amazon, Disney. If ISIS started a streaming service you’d call your agent, wouldn’t you?’
Social media lit up with posts praising his take-downs of the Hollywood establishment, relishing in the uncomfortable reactions from those in the room – though others found his jokes hard to stomach.
Ricky’s comments this week come after Will slapped Oscars host Chris across the face following his joke about Jada.
Family: Jada supported her husband after he defended her by striding on to stage to smack Chris
On Monday, Will apologised for his actions saying his behaviour was ‘unacceptable and inexcusable’ and left him ’embarrassed’.
‘Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,’ he wrote on Instagram.
‘My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.
Joker: Ricky’s fans around the world were keen to know what he would have done having made unforgiving digs at his fellow stars while hosting the Golden Globe Awards in 2020
‘I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.’
Will then went on to say sorry to the organisers and the producers of the show.
Chris has not responded to Smith’s apology, or commented on the Sunday night incident.
Will also extended his apology to the family of Venus and Serena Williams.
Shortly after slapping Chris, Will won the Best Actor award for his portrayal of their father Richard in film King Richard – but the story of their family was overshadowed by Smith’s attack.
His apology came as the group that hands out the Oscars on Monday condemned Will’s actions and said it had started a formal review of the incident that cast a shadow over the film honours.
Awkward: Tom Hanks (left), sitting next to his wife Rita Wilson, looked shocked as Ricky dropped several eyebrow raising jokes during his monologue at the Golden Globes in 2020
Open-mouthed: Gwyneth Paltrow reacted with shock as Ricky delivered his eviscerating opening monologue at the Golden Globes
Laughs: Robert De Niro (left) and Martin Scorsese (right) at the Golden Globes awards, where Ricky poked fun at their latest film The Irishman for being three hours long
Will strode on stage during the live telecast and struck Chris in the face after the comedian made a joke about the appearance of Will’s wife.
Will’s meltdown continued when he returned to his seat as he repeatedly screamed: ‘Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.’
The crowd then fell into stunned silence as it became clear the attack was genuine, and not staged.
Chris replied to him saying: ‘I’m going to, okay?’
Sorry: Will issued an apology for his actions the day after the Oscars on Monday, insisting ‘violence in all of its forms is poisonous’
He then laughed uncomfortably, saying: ‘That was the greatest night in the history of television’.
Smith’s expletive-ridden rant was muted by directors because the show’s live broadcast is slightly delayed in the US.
But it was aired in full to some international audiences with the uncut clip already been viewed more than a million times on social media and YouTube in the first few hours.
Any questions over whether the altercation was genuine were answered when just over half an hour later Smith was given the Best Actor award and apologised for the assault.
Could Will Smith be stripped of his Oscar? Academy faces pressure to respond after disgraced star broke Code of Conduct drawn up in wake of MeToo Movement
The Academy tweeted its disapproval of ‘violence of any form’ late on Sunday night
There are calls for the Academy to strip Will Smith of his Best Actor Oscar after he walked on stage and slapped comedian Chris Rock who was presenting an award on stage, after making a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s hair.
The Academy, in its code of conduct, is known to take a very a dim view of violence of any kind.
After the award ceremony was over it tweeted: ‘The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.’
The Academy reestablished its Code of Conduct in 2017 during the Me Too Movement.
‘Academy membership is a privilege offered to only a select few within the global community of filmmakers,’ AMPAS CEO Dawn Hudson wrote to members following various scandals in the industry.
On Sunday night, in the Dolby Theatre, there was complete bewilderment in the moments after the assault with took place with those present initially wondering if the punch was part of a stunt.
It took a few moments for the normally unflappable Rock to process but the colorful language from Smith quickly confirmed it wasn’t any kind of joke at all.
The punch threw the entire Oscars broadcast into chaos as producers were frantically forced into deciding how to deal with the on-air assault, with Smith still yet to receive his Best Actor statuette.
In his acceptance speech a crying Smith said: ‘Love makes you do crazy things’, as he clutched his Oscar statuette.
‘You gotta be able to take abuse, and you gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you,’ Will said.
‘In this business, you gotta be able to have people disrespecting you and you gotta smile and you gotta pretend like that’s OK.
‘Denzel (Washington) said to me a few minutes ago, he said, “At your highest moment, be careful. That’s when the devil comes for you.”
‘It’s like I want to be a vessel for love.
‘I want to say thank you to Venus and Serena. I want to say thank you to Venus and Serena and the entire Williams family for entrusting me with your story. That’s what I want to do. I want to be an ambassador of that kind of love and care and concern.’
The actor went on: ‘I want to apologise to the Academy, I want to apologise to all my fellow nominees.
‘Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said. I look like the crazy father just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things’.
He added: ‘I’m hoping the Academy invites me back. Thank you’.
Meanwhile, it is claimed ‘refused to leave’ the Oscars after smacking Chris.
The Academy said: ‘Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated. While we would like to clarify that Mr. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, we also recognize we could have handled the situation differently.’
The statement – issued by The Board of Governors at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – also explained that while he is under investigation for the slap, Will is ‘being provided at least 15 days’ notice of a vote’ regarding any disciplinary action they may choose to take.
The statement, obtained by The Hollywood Reporter read: ‘Consistent with the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, as well as California law, Mr. Smith is being provided at least 15 days’ notice of a vote regarding his violations and sanctions, and the opportunity to be heard beforehand by means of a written response. At the next board meeting on April 18, the Academy may take any disciplinary action, which may include suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct.
‘Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television. Mr. Rock, we apologize to you for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience in that moment. We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event.’
The incident: Will had initially laughed at the gag about Jada’s hair being short – a line of Demi Moore’s in GI Jane. His wife looked very unhappy and rolled her eyes
Dramatic: After smacking Chris, a visibly fuming Smith returned to his seat and began repeatedly yelling: ‘Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth’. Lupita Nyong’o’ was among those baffled by what happened with many initially believing that an act so outrageous must be part of the show
Open: Jada has been open about her struggle with alopecia, which happens when the immune system attacks hair follicles and causes hair loss. It affects around 700,000 Americans