'The View' hosts react to Will Smith's Oscar night confrontation with Chris Rock: 'That was a show of toxic masculinity'
As Will Smith's confrontation with Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards continues to reverberate through the entertainment industry, the hosts of The View have offered their take on the charged incident. "I think he overreacted," said Whoopi Goldberg, who previously acted opposite the Oscar-winning King Richard star in the 1993 comedy Made in America. "Not everybody acts the way that we would like them to act under pressure. Some people just snap — he snapped."
WILL SMITH ASSAULTS CHRIS ROCK OVER JOKE: History was made at Sunday's Academy Awards, but #TheView co-hosts weigh in on the altercation everyone is talking about and discuss if it overshadowed the moments that should have been celebrated. https://t.co/Ah9MDZwvCD #Oscars pic.twitter.com/kNMoxwHKeh
— The View (@TheView) March 28, 2022
While Goldberg struck a moderate tone, some of her co-hosts offered more forceful condemnations of Smith's decision to slap Rock after the comedian made an ill-considered joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. "That was a show of toxic masculinity," Sunny Hostin said, adding that she felt "embarrassed" for Smith and credited Rock for "taking the high road" and not responding with violence. "If [Smith] was offended and felt emasculated ... you don't act out in violence. That is not a show of love — that's a show of violence."
Joy Behar provided a comedian's perspective, saying that the incident underscored the challenges that comics face in today's landscape. "They want us to be edgy ... they want us to take a risk, and then they get mad — that's what's happening lately," she said, recalling an experience at a college comedy gig where she left the stage after the audience got upset with her material. Behar endorsed walking off as the "appropriate" response, recalling how she and Goldberg left The View set in 2010 after they had a heated on-air disagreement with Bill O'Reilly. "To acutally hit somebody was shocking."
"Hitting somebody is a crime," Ana Navarro emphasized. "It is the crime of assault on national TV." The host and former political strategist also confessed to thinking the encounter was a "comedy bit" at first. But she came to realize that it was instead — as she put it — a case of "men behaving badly."
As an Oscar winner and former Oscar host, Goldberg sought to end the discussion on an upbeat note, saluting the telecast's three hosts — Regina Hall, Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes — as well as its producer, Will Packer. "Will, this is exactly what you said you wanted to do, sans the smack," Goldberg said. "You said you wanted to make it more about the movies, and what we loved about movies and it was kind of great."
The View airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on ABC