Adam Sandler defended Chris Rock when a red carpet reporter asked if Rock’s recent jokes about Will Smith slapping him at the 2022 Academy Awards went too far.
“I never thought that in my life,” Sandler told a People reporter on the red carpet before accepting the 2023 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor Sunday. “I thought he was unbelievably relaxed, funny, thoughtful, crushed it. Was real to himself, and it was as exciting to watch as when the Super Bowl is on.”
— People (@people) March 20, 2023
In March 2022, as Rock presented at the Academy Awards, he made a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s bald head, prompting Smith, her husband, to walk up onto the stage in real-time and slap Rock across the face.
Shortly after the slap, Smith accepted the award for best actor for portraying Serena and Venus Williams’ dad in “King Richard.”
He was later banned from attending any Academy events for 10 years.
Rock addressed the slap at length for the first time in a Netflix special released earlier this month, saying it “still hurts” a year later.
After watching Rock’s Netflix special, titled “Selective Outrage,” Sandler said he “thought about it all weekend.”
“Sat, watched it in my kitchen, laughed my ass off. Immediately watched it right after. It was one of the best experiences,” Sandler said. “I thought it was amazing.”