“It eats at me watching it over and over again because you’ve seen a loved one being attacked and there’s nothing you can do about it,” Kenny, 42, told The Los Angeles Times in an interview published on Monday, April 4, arguing that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should revoke the Best Actor in a Leading Role trophy from Smith, 53, in the wake of the incident.
Kenny continued, “Every time I’m watching the videos, it’s like a rendition that just keeps going over and over in my head. My brother was no threat to him and you just had no respect for him at that moment. You just belittled him in front of millions of people that watch the show. … In my opinion, he embarrassed himself by doing that and his legacy by doing that.”
During the 94th annual Academy Awards on March 27, Smith rose out of his seat and slapped the Grown Ups actor, 57, in the face in response to a joke he told about Jada Pinkett Smith‘s shaved head. The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum has since issued a public apology to the comedian, who did not press charges after the altercation. On Friday, April 1, Smith announced in a statement that he’s resigning from the Academy following a “disciplinary hearing notice” from the organization.
“My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable,” the Men in Black actor said, per Variety. “The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home. I betrayed the trust of the Academy. … I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken.”
Smith noted in his statement that he “will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate.” David Rubin, the Academy’s president, later stated that the members will “continue to move forward with our disciplinary proceedings” before a hearing on April 18.
Since the shocking awards show moment, Chris has kept relatively quiet, briefly breaking his silence on the situation during a stand-up gig in Boston on Wednesday, March 30. Fellow comedians have defended his Oscars quip, which his brother believes was harmless.
“The joke was funny,” Kenny told the L.A. Times. “It wasn’t hilarious funny, but I know that if he knew that she had alopecia … he wouldn’t make a joke about that. But he didn’t know.”
Pinkett Smith, 50, has been candid about her experience with hair loss due to alopecia through the years. As their family continues to make headlines, the Red Table Talk cohost and her husband are ready to put the situation behind them.
“They stick together through thick and thin,” a source exclusively told Us Weekly of Smith and the Girls Trip actress. “They have been through a lot together and this is just another battle for them. … The entire night became about Will and Chris [and] neither of them wanted that. [Jada] hopes that they can move on.”
Though the Will author has publicly apologized for his behavior, multiple sources previously confirmed to Us that he has not spoken with Chris privately. Kenny noted in his interview that he doesn’t believe Smith has reached out to his brother.
“I don’t accept [the apology] because I don’t think it was genuine,” Kenny told the L.A. Times. “He should have been escorted out of there. I hold them accountable for that. He could have went up there and did anything you wanted to my brother. It could have been much worse than what he did.”