Steve Harvey has made it clear that he disagreed with the way Oscar award-winning actor Will Smith conducted himself during the 94th annual Academy Awards, during which he walked on stage and slapped Chris Rock as he was presenting the next award after the longtime comedian poked fun at Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.
During a keynote speaking engagement in front of dozens of law students and 100+ more people at the Georgia State University in Atlanta, Harvey spoke for two hours on various subject matters, including his new show, his journey in the entertainment business, and the slap that still has people talking going on two months now.
During his speech, the veteran comedian admitted that although he harbors a significant amount of religious belief, he realized it wouldn’t be enough to have handled that shocking moment as gracefully as Rock did.
“I’m a Christian, but I’m really undeveloped. I don’t have high-level Christianity. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’m like a 2. That’s the level of Christianity I can work on,” the “Family Feud” host said. “You slap T.D. Jakes, he’ll turn the other cheek. You slap me? If you sit back in your seat, Jada [Will’s wife] would have to move out of the way. That’s the type of Christian I am.”
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, which covered the event, reported Harvey said the “King Richard” star knew that he could get away with the assault because Rock was on the Oscars stage. Smith called the slap a “punk move” on Smith’s part before adding, “I lost a lot of respect for him.”
While Smith might not have suffered any legal actions, he was ultimately “punished” for his violent reaction toward Rock and as a result was banned from all Oscars-related events for the next ten years. Many found the sentencing a bit harsh. However, the actor accepted his faith with a brief statement, stating, “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”
Smith has publicly apologized on social media, but Chris who said he won’t discuss it “until I get paid,” was heard poking fun at the incident recently after Dave Chappelle was ambushed when a patron rushed on stage. Rock quipped at the time, “Was that Will Smith?”