“It was so upsetting,” the 94th annual Academy Awards cohost, 40, told Howard Stern on Wednesday, April 13, about the onstage incident — during which Smith, 53, smacked Rock, 57, across the face for making fun of Jada Pinkett Smith.
“People made fun of me for saying that it was traumatizing, but I don’t think it was traumatizing for me,” the Life & Beth star elaborated. “I think it was traumatizing for all of us.”
Schumer — who cohosted the Oscars on March 27 with Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall — tweeted on March 30 that she was “still triggered and traumatized” by the violence inflicted on the Everybody Hates Chris alum by the King Richard star. (After slapping Rock for the comedian’s joke about Pinkett Smith’s shaved head — the Red Table Talk host has alopecia — Smith yelled at the South Carolina native, twice, to “keep my wife’s name out your f—king mouth.”)
The Inside Amy Schumer alum told Stern, 68, about how the altercation overshadowed Questlove‘s win for Best Documentary Feature for Summer of Soul, which Rock was presenting at the time. “Chris Rock’s my good friend. Questlove is one of my best friends. We’re close. To see that happen, to see your friend get hit” was difficult for her to witness, she explained.
Schumer noted that the “trauma” of watching Smith slap Rock was also so hard because the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum is someone “who I’ve loved — who we’ve loved forever … I don’t remember a time I didn’t think, ‘I love that guy,’” she said, reasoning that the Ali actor “must have been in so much pain” to hit the Saturday Night Live alum.
“It was upsetting for so many reasons and it was upsetting to everyone. [To] everyone at home who didn’t even see what I saw,” she told the radio host. “It was shocking, and it was a bummer.”
Smith — who won the best actor Oscar later that evening for his performance as Richard Williams in King Richard — is currently experiencing intense fallout after the altercation.
The Pursuit of Happyness actor publicly apologized to Rock — as well as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, all audience members, viewers and the producers of the show — one day after the ceremony, calling his behavior “unacceptable and inexcusable.”
Four days later, Smith resigned from the Academy. The board declared on Friday, April 8, that the “Miami” rapper is banned from the Oscars and all related Academy events for 10 years.
“I accept and respect the Academy’s decision,” the 7 Pounds actor told Page Six in a statement at the time.
For his part, Rock, who declined to file a police report about the slap, has alluded to the incident in several of his standup routines since.
According to an eyewitness, the Longest Yard star told a heckler “no” when they yelled, “F—k Will Smith” during Rock’s March 31 set in Boston. Two days later, an audience member revealed that the comedian joked that he “had an interesting week” during his routine in New Jersey.
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