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Billy Crystal Says that Will Smith’s Oscar’s Slap was ‘Assault’ and the Oscars Lost Control of Show

Published on April 7th, 2022 | Updated on April 7th, 2022 | By FanFest

Billy Crystal has spoken out about Will Smith‘s violent behavior toward Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards ceremony, describing Smith’s slap as “an assault.”

Per Deadline, in an interview with Bob Costas, host of HBO Max’s Back on the Record, Crystal didn’t balance his assessment of Smith’s aggressiveness toward Rock. According to Crystal, the dispute was “disturbing.”

He told Costas:

It was a most disturbing incident, for sure. It was an assault. I’ve had experiences. I hosted the Grammys three times and I’ve been thrown things.

Crystal also guessed that the 2022 Academy Awards’ organizers lost control of the event. He opined that the production crew and hosts Regina Hall, Amy Schumer, and Wanda Sykes did not plan for potential conflicts to develop in such a high-stakes scenario, implying that they neglected to prepare a considered response.

He clarified his position, stating that pre-production for sensitive subjects was necessary to ensure appropriate course guidance during the ceremony and that it was up to the host to steer proceedings.

He recalled:

We would go through the rundown and I’d say, ‘Maybe I should be there because something might happen there. If that person wins, I should follow that.’

The host of a successful show believes that an experienced presenter is critical to a well-organized presentation since they can keep things in order. and “give the audience the feeling of there’s somebody in charge.”

He referenced an occasion when he was hosting the Grammys at Radio City Music Hall and incendiary comments were made by comedian Jackie Mason and music star Little Richard. He said the show’s director tasked him with putting everyone at ease and defusing the tension.

Crystal, who has hosted nine Academy Awards ceremonies between 1990 and 2013, stated that he has no interest in reprising his role.

Smith resigned from his position as a member of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the aftermath of his conduct at the 94th Academy Awards ceremony.

The Academy’s board will meet on April 18 to assess the 2022 Oscars incident and determine whether Smith should be banned for violating their code of conduct, as previously reported.

The King Richard star appears to have Whoopi Goldberg in his corner, as she is a champion of Smith and one of the 3 governors of the actor’s branch of the Academy, along with Laura Dern and Rita Wilson.

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