Terry Crews says Chris Rock ‘saved Hollywood’ by keeping his composure following Will Smith slap
Terry Crews is speaking out on the infamous event that occurred between two of his “dear friends” at the 2022 Oscars.
Crews, 53, recently spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about his upcoming memoir, “Tough: My True Journey to Power”, when he was asked about his opinion on Will Smith slapping Chris Rock.
The Emmy-Award nominee quickly praised Rock for keeping his composure after being assaulted on stage, but refused to “demonize” Smith for his actions.
Terry Crews says Chris Rock "saved Hollywood" by keeping his composure after Will Smith slapped him during the 2022 Oscars.
“Both Will Smith and Chris Rock are dear, dear friends of mine,” he told the outlet. “I love them both as brothers, but there was a time in my life [where] I was Will Smith at that moment, and let me tell you, I’ve done worse than Will.”
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“Way overkill, just … the punishment did not fit the crime. Like, people were like, ‘What in the world are you doing?’ My wife even had to be like, ‘You got to promise me you will never go off like this. You did not need to pick this man up and put him on his head, on the concrete,’ ” Crews recalled.
Crews went as far as to say his friend “saved Hollywood” that Sunday night by not retaliating on stage and during the live broadcast.
“When I look back, by what Chris did, by just deciding to hold everything together, it actually, I think in a lot of ways saved Hollywood,” Crews shared with the outlet. “Because if there would’ve been a brawl on that stage, I don’t know if Hollywood would’ve ever gotten any respect again, you know? It’s hard to even imagine what would’ve happened.”
Will Smith, right, hits presenter Chris Rock on stage while presenting the award for best documentary feature at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27.
(AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)
Crews went on to show love to Rock while recounting times in his past when he’s been in both Rock and Smith’s position.
“The definition of toughness where I grew up and the way I was, it was always the ability to strike, the ability to punch, the ability to set things straight, to even the score,” he explained. “But the true definition of toughness was what Chris did in taking a punch and then holding everything together and then showing tremendous endurance and resilience in the middle of obstacles.”
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“I think it was a miracle what Chris did. I really do. I couldn’t believe his poise in that moment. I thought, holy cow, we owe him a lot. I think every performer owes him so much because it just really saved Hollywood in that moment. I’m very thankful to Chris, but also I understand Will. I’m not [one] to demonize Will at all because I was there,” he went on to add.
Crews is one of many Hollywood stars to share opinions on the controversial moment that took place at the 94th Annual Academy Awards last month.
Will Smith yells at Chris Rock from his seat at the Oscar’s after physically assaulting him on stage at the 94th Annual Academy Awards.
Smith slapped Rock after Rock cracked a joke about Pinkett Smith’s bald head, referring to the 1997 film “G.I. Jane,” starring Demi Moore. Pinkett Smith, 50, has struggled with alopecia.
“Jada, ‘GI Jane 2,’ I can’t wait to see it,” Rock, 57, said while onstage at the Oscars with the actress in attendance.
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“Wow, Will Smith just smacked the s— out of me,” Rock said after he was slapped by Smith.
“Keep my wife’s name out of your f—– mouth,” Smith replied.
Terry Crews (L) and Will Smith pose onstage at Netflix Films: "Bright" and "Death Note" panel during Comic-Con International 2017 at San Diego Convention Center.
(Photo by Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images)
Earlier this month, the academy announced that Smith was banned from attending the Oscars or any other academy event for 10 years following his slap of presenter Rock at this year’s ceremony. The decision came after a meeting of the academy’s board of governors to discuss a response to Smith’s actions.
“I accept and respect the academy’s decision,” the actor said in a statement obtained by Fox News Digital at the time. Smith also previously resigned from the academy and publicly apologized.
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Smith made his first public appearance since the slap in Mumbai, India on Saturday, smiling and posing for photos with adoring fans.
He also waved to nearby onlookers shouting “Will! Will!”
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith arrive at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022.
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Meanwhile, Rock has been performing stand-up since the Oscars incident. In his first stage appearance since the slap, he told a Boston crowd he’s “still kind of processing what happened.”
“At some point, I’ll talk about that s—, and it will be serious, and it will be funny,” Rock shared.
Fox News’ Mariah Haas contributed to this report.