Ricky Gervais Speaks Out About Will Smith’s Slap at the Oscars: ‘It Didn’t Look Fair; It Looked Like Bullying’

The aftermath of the Will Smith and Chris Rock incident at the Academy Awards may last longer than most imagined. The situation has received extensive media coverage, with everyone and their grandmother weighing in on the slap and debating whether it was deserved.

Veteran comedian Ricky Gervais has hosted several award shows. He’s never been afraid to call out celebrities from the stage. So, naturally, people want to know what he thought about the debacle. Recently, Gervais finally addressed Smith’s slap.

Ricky Gervais’s monologue at the Golden Globes

Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais speaks onstage in 2020
Ricky Gervais speaks at the Golden Globes in 2020 | Paul Drinkwater/NBCUniversal Media, LLC via Getty Images

Gervais has a long-standing career as an accomplished comedian and actor. However, his Golden Globes monologue will always remain in the minds of those who attended and those who watched at home. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association chose Gervais as the host of the 2020 Golden Globes, much to the annoyance of industry professionals.

Gervais took the stage, opening his monologue by admitting he didn’t know what Twitter was. The Office co-creator further warned those in attendance that it was his last time hosting the popular awards shows. Gervais offered a disclaimer saying, “I don’t care anymore. I never did.” The comedian took a jab at NBC for taking him on five times, while fellow comedian Kevin Hart instantly got fired for tweeting offensive jokes.

Gervais went on to call out the people in the room and those who couldn’t make it, claiming the year was huge for pedophile movies. The comedian also called out those who hired him, saying they were racist.

While audiences worldwide praised Gervais for his harsh and nail-on-the-head comedic style, others weren’t impressed. Some called him out for the “cheap” and lazy jokes. However, others felt Gervais held a mirror to the snobbish Hollywood industry and celebrity culture.

Ricky Gervais couldn’t hide from the Will Smith incident

As a comedian whose art is to throw jabs at people, it’s only understandable that people would feel compelled to ask Gervais for his opinion on the 94th Academy Awards incident. Gervais entered the chat when he revealed that even though he wasn’t in attendance at the awards show, he couldn’t hide from the messages and emails coming at him from all sides.

Speaking to Sam Harris on the Making Sense podcast, Gervais said he woke up the day after the event to emails from friends and colleagues asking for his opinion. The comedian revealed he didn’t understand what was going on. Even after watching it, he still couldn’t make out if the slap was real or a gimmick.

Gervais recaptured his emotions, saying, “I was angry. I thought, ‘No one should hit someone for hearing someone they don’t like. And, particularly, this wasn’t a bar; This wasn’t a hockey field. It was two men in tuxedos. It was strange and it was shocking.”

The After Life actor recounted the world’s initial reaction, whereby many sided with Smith. But to Gervais, the comment was not a valid reason for the assault. He said, “There were some people who thought [Will] Smith was in the right. I never did, and I still don’t.”

Ricky Gervais thought Will Smith’s slap was ‘a form of bullying’

Gervais’s Golden Globes monologue made people think about what he would’ve done had he been in the situation. However, Gervais pointed out that he wouldn’t have made the joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair at all. Instead, he told Harris, he’d have joked about her former boyfriend, alluding to August Alsina.

Gervais also said he believes Rock didn’t mean to embarrass Pinkett Smith and likely didn’t even know about her condition in the first place. He thought Smith put Rock in an awful situation due to their height and weight differences.

Gervais elaborated, “It didn’t look fair. It looked like bullying.” He reiterated that he wasn’t a body language expert but believed Smith instantly regretted the situation.

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