‘The View’ Responds to Will Smith Being “Upset” Over Chris Rock Netflix Special: “He Wasn’t the One That Got Slapped”

The View couldn’t resist chatting about the Oscars ahead of Sunday’s ceremony, which will notably not feature Will Smith after the actor was banned from the event for slapping Chris Rock during the 2022 telecast.

The Slap, as it was dubbed, has experienced remarkable staying power in the pop culture discourse for nearly a full year now, and its vice grip will only continue at this weekend’s award show.

“Producers of this year’s Oscars say they will make reference to The Slap in a humorous way,” Joy Behar revealed to the Hot Topics panel on today’s show, much to Sunny Hostin‘s chagrin.

The co-host immediately shut down the forthcoming Slap jokes set to be included in Sunday’s show. Pointing to Rock’s Selective Outrage special, Hostin argued Smith shouldn’t be upset by Rock’s jokes as reports suggest, considering he wasn’t the one who was hit on live TV.

“I don’t think they should lean into this. I think they shouldn’t mention it,” she said. “I loved what Margaret Cho, our guest, said the other day. She said that Chris waited an entire year to address the slap, so it felt less retaliatory and more responsive.”

Behar replied, “Will Smith didn’t think it was easy on him,” but Hostin countered, “Well, he wasn’t the one that got slapped, to be honest with you.”

Behar agreed, “That’s true,” as the studio audience applauded.

Pointing to the $40 million Netflix paycheck Rock received for Selective Outrage, Hostin quipped, “I don’t like violence, but I think you could slap me for $40 million.”

Hostin later turned to Behar to ask if she would joke about the Slap as a comedian. Behar replied, “Of course,” before describing the situation as “a dream come true” for this year’s host, Jimmy Kimmel.

“And don’t think that Netflix didn’t time it exactly right,” she added, referring to Rock’s special. “Let’s not let them off the hook.”

Returning to Kimmel, she said he can’t pull off “the whole show” without mentioning last year’s incident: “It’s the elephant in the room,” Behar proclaimed. “It has to be addressed.”

The View airs weekdays at 11/10c on ABC. The 95th Oscars will be broadcast live on ABC this Sunday, March 12, at 8/7c.

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