The Oscars this year were historical. It was the first time that the show featured an increasing number of female celebrities as the hosts of the awards ceremony. It was the first time in the history of Oscars that two openly gay actresses were nominated side by side.
The Best Supporting Actress win of Ariana DeBose would define history as she became one of the only few openly queer actresses of color to win the high accolade.
But while all these beautiful and talented women worked to change the way people perceived the Academy Awards, they made only a few headlines following the Oscars event. Instead, it was Will Smith who ended up grabbing all the highlights and dominated the front pages of media outlets for the week to come.
It is obvious, at this point, how hurtful this experience would have been for the women hosts of the show, who poured in heart and soul to make the awards ceremony a presentable event.
Wanda Sykes, one of the co-hosts at the Oscars this year, shared her own opinion about the shocking blow that Will Smith's slap to Chris Rock was for her. The Upshaws' co-creator and star recently opened up about her take on the show-stopping moment as she sat with Ellen DeGeneres for an interview on the latter's show.
The comedian was the one to bring Chris Rock on the stage along with Regina Hall but had to return to her trailer. Though she missed the slap live, the echo of its blow continues to haunt her until now, and she admitted she is traumatized by it. By the time she returned to the stage, Will Smith had dealt his hand and was returning to sit beside his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
When Sykes finally saw and heard what had happened on the stage while she was missing, she felt awfully sorry for her friend, Chris. Not to mention, it was such a crass show of violence on Will Smith's part and definitely belittled all the hard work the co-hosts had done to keep things flowing smoothly. She admitted that the trauma of the moment still lives with her.
Sykes is aware that Smith issued a public apology to Chris Rock and the Academy Awards for the wrong he had committed in the heat of the moment. Yet, both he and the Academy's statement on the issue left out the hosts from their announcement.
Sykes reasoned that being the co-hosts of the show, it was the ladies who invited all these people to the event and the Oscars room. It was their terms to provide a safe place for all the gathered to enjoy a great night, but as one of the guests violated the terms, it put everyone's safety in jeopardy.
It is worth a mention that events of international attention like the Oscars require a lot of care and effort to put together. At such a time, not only did the violent outbreak dismiss the fun everyone else was having but also presented the event in a bad light globally. It was simply the wrong thing to do.
She also mentioned that while Will Smith left them out of the apology, Chris Rock understood how terrible it must be for the ladies to witness, and he apologized to Sykes as soon as he ran into her at an Oscars after-party. The co-host said she couldn't understand why he was saying sorry.
Rock reasoned that the awards ceremony was supposed to be a defining night in the careers of the co-host and that the women did an amazing job at managing the affairs of the event. He was sorry that the slap would be all the people would talk about the next day and not the work of the co-hosts.
Sykes was floored with the amount of concern and respect the comedian showed her and other hosts, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall.
While Hall is still silent about the events of the night, Amy Schumer has also come forward, explaining how she felt after the misdeed of the night.
The Oscars co-host revealed her thoughts about the much infamous Will Smith's slap directed at Chris Rock at the Saturday night event at the Academy Awards. Schumer shared an Instagram post recently where she detailed that the physical attack made her feel "triggered and traumatized."
In her post, she explained that even long after the event's passing, she is still subject to the sick feeling the assault brought about in her. The comedian also appreciated Chris Rock's control at the moment. While the comic could have retaliated in anger, he maintained his cool and tried to make light of the event. The post is now unavailable on Instagram.
Which was once again disturbed by the King Richard actor's angry rant as he returned to his seat after the attack.
Rock had ascended the stage at the night of the event to present the Best Documentary Feature award but squeezed in a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith and her shaved head, calling it a resemblance to G.I. Jane. Pinkett-Smith suffers from alopecia and has been open about her struggle.
While the co-hosts and Chris Rock grappled with the control over the situation, Will Smith was then invited over to the stage to accept his award as the Best Actor for his work as Richard William in King Richard. The film is based on the father of the tennis champions, Venus and Serena Williams, and their journey to stardom.
People are now calling out the Academy Awards and demanding that Will Smith be asked to give over the accolade.