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Billy Crystal has called Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards ‘assault’.
The nine-time Oscars host opened up about the “troubling incident” during an appearance on “Back on the Record” with Bob Costas on HBO Max. Smith slapped Rock in the face on stage after the comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head.
“It was a most disturbing incident, for sure,” Crystal told Costas. “It was an assault. I had experiences. I’ve hosted the Grammys three times and people have thrown stuff at me. »
” In [Oscars] pre-production, the amazing Gil Cates, we were going through – he was the producer on six of the nine that I did – we were going through the recap and I was like, ‘Maybe I should be there because something might to arrive there . If that person wins, I should follow that.’ »
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Crystal explained why it’s important to have a good awards show host.
“I kind of organized myself to host the show, really host the show, so you can tie it together. So every time I see shows that it’s a hostless show yeah it’s going faster but there’s nobody to capitalize on anything and make the audience feel like there’s someone in charge. »
Crystal then gave an example of the time he had to deal with a sticky situation while hosting the Grammys at Radio City Music Hall. Comedian Jackie Mason took the stage and made an inflammatory comment, according to Crystal. Little Richard followed and made more incendiary comments, which led to the awards show producer sending in Crystal to smooth things over.
The ‘Princess Bride’ actor explained how he took control of the situation and pissed off the audience with a joke.
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This isn’t the first time Crystal has referenced the drama between Smith and Rock.
Crystal once joked about slapping Smith at the Oscars after a dress rehearsal for her Broadway show “Mr. Saturday Night.”
During his curtain speech to the audience, the former Oscars host joked, “We finished a show and nobody got slapped. Incredible. »
Smith has since resigned from the Academy and is awaiting further sanction from its board of trustees, which will meet again on April 18.
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Crystal hosted the Oscars nine times between 1990 and 2013. He apparently decided he didn’t want to host them anymore.
“You gotta get that 10,” “Standing Up, Falling Down” co-star Ben Schwartz told her during an interview with People magazine.
“I did nine,” Crystal replied. “I think I’m fine. »
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Will Smith and Chris Rock slap ‘an assault’, says 9-time Oscars host Billy Crystal – Reuters News in France and abroad