The previous “Tonight Present” host is the newest in an extended line of celebrities to weigh in on Smith’s televised altercation with Rock. Talking to the Palm Beach Daily News in an interview revealed final week, Leno described Smith as a “good man,” and mentioned he was largely shocked by what befell after the actor returned to his seat.
“To me, the factor that’s most annoying wasn’t the slap, as a result of he was sort of smirking after he slapped [Rock],” Leno mentioned. “It was the yelling of the obscenities. You then go, ‘Whoa. What’s occurring right here?’ That is actual anger.”
Elsewhere within the interview, Leno took difficulty with what he perceived because the Academy of Movement Image Arts and Sciences’ inaction since Oscars night time. The Academy has pledged to conduct a “formal review” of the incident that it mentioned “will take just a few weeks,” however Leno questioned whether or not such an method is critical.
“It needed to be probably the most recorded assault in historical past,” he mentioned. “I noticed the again of his shoe, I noticed Chris’ ear. There have been so many cameras on this incident. What are you investigating? I do know typically issues are simply what they look like.”
The Oscars had been expected to be a profession excessive level for Smith, who did finally win the award for Greatest Actor for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the daddy of tennis greats Serena and Venus Williams, in “King Richard.” Nevertheless, he ended the night time in a firestorm of unhealthy press after he slapped Rock reside on stage for cracking a joke about his spouse, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her bald head. Pinkett Smith has been open about her struggles with alopecia, a situation that causes hair loss.
Earlier this month, Smith introduced he was resigning as a member of the Academy within the wake of what he referred to as his “surprising, painful and inexcusable” actions. Days later, the Academy mentioned it would ban Smith from attending the Oscar ceremonies for 10 years, although he’s nonetheless eligible to be nominated.