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Wanda Sykes 'Physically Felt Ill' When She Saw Will Smith Oscars Slap

wanda sykes and will smith

Wanda Sykes still wants an apology from Will Smith.

The comedian and Oscar host went on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Wednesday to talk about the 94th Annual Academy Awards, and the slap that defined it.

In case you’ve missed the news, shortly after Sykes and the other two Oscar hosts (Regina Hall and Amy Schumer) introduced Chris Rock to the stage, he made a joke about Jade Pinkett Smith’s bald head, comparing her to GI Jane. Will Smith, a nominee for the night, then proceeded to walk onto the stage, slap Rock in the face, and yell at him to “keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth.” It was the most-talked-about Oscars moment since Moonlight won Best Picture.

When the slap happened, Sykes was getting changed into her next costume, and had to watch it all happen on a monitor. She didn’t see the slap, but instead saw Smith walking off stage and swearing and had to be filled in on the part she had just missed.

“I just felt so awful for my friend Chris. And it was sickening. I physically felt ill. And I’m still a little traumatized by it,” Sykes told DeGeneres.

“And for them to let him stay in that room and enjoy the rest of the show and accept his award, I was like, ‘How gross is this, this is just the wrong message,’ you know?’” she continued. “You assault somebody, you get escorted out the building, and that’s it. But for them to let him continue, I thought was gross.”

Sykes also said that Smith has yet to apologize to her or the other hosts. “I know he apologized to Chris, but I believe that we were the hosts, right?” Sykes pointed out. “So this is our house, we invited you in, we’re gonna take care of y'all tonight, gonna make sure you have a good time. And no one has apologized to us, and we worked really hard to put that show together.”

Sykes did throw in a little joke, saying she wanted “to be able to run out after he won and say, ‘Uhh, unfortunately Will couldn’t be here tonight,’” after he won his award.

“You don’t let someone do something like that and get away with it and be rewarded,” DeGeneres added.

However, the Oscars very famously do love to let white men do far worse and get away with it and be rewarded. Men like Jared Leto and Casey Affleck, who both have many accusations of harassment and predatory behavior against them have won Oscars in recent years. 

Even worse, director Roman Polanski was given the Oscar for Best Director for 2003’s The Pianist and had to accept in absentia because he had fled the country to avoid a pedophilia conviction. In 1977, Polanski was found guilty of engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, a young girl who was just 13 at the time.

Watch the interview with Sykes below.

RELATED | 17 LGBTQ+ Celebrities Who Walked the 2022 Oscars Red Carpet

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