Ricky Gervais' best bits
IndyTV

If there’s been one voice to cut through all the discourse surrounding Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, it’s Ricky Gervais.

The comedian hasn’t exactly shied away from commenting on the recent controversy, with a string of outspoken comments aimed squarely at Smith.

It comes, of course, after Smith got up on stage at the Oscars and slapped Rock over a joke made about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair.

Smith has since apologised for his actions and resigned from the Academy, which has since banned him from attending their events for 10 years.

As a five-time host of the Golden Globes, Gervais knows a thing or two about putting on an awards show, and he had a thing or two to say about the biggest moment in recent awards history too.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Here is a timeline of everything he's said about Smith and the incident since it happened two weeks ago.

March 29 - How would he have reacted?

The comedian had an unexpected responseTwitter

His first public reaction came when he spoke about what would have happened if he were in Rock's shoes during the ceremony. After being asked by a fan on Twitter, he had a pretty clear answer.

"You're basically asking if he would slap a much heavier, angrier, drunker man,” Gervais replied, implying his reaction would have been very different indeed...

April 1 - The joke Rock ‘should have told’


Gervais hasn't held back since the ceremonyGetty

Gervais revealed the Jada Pinkett joke he would've told instead at the Oscars a few days after the news broke, and it didn’t relate to her hair at all.

In a report from the Mirror, Gervais, who was testing new material at a show in London's Highgate, said that he didn't have any "Will Smith material", and wanted to know why his name trended when he didn't attend the awards.

"What has it got to do with me? People were going, 'What would have happened if Ricky Gervais had been doing it (hosting Oscars)?'" he told the outlet before saying he wouldn't make a joke about Pinkett Smith's hair.

"I would have made a joke about her boyfriend," he said.

In June 2020, Pinkett Smith made headlines when R&B singer August Alsina claimed that he was in a relationship with her. She later confirmed they were in an "entanglement."

April 7 – Defending Rock’s joke

Gervais later defended Rock for “joking about [Jada Pinkett Smith’s] disability” with his “GI Jane” Oscars quip.

Defending Rock’s “tame” joke, Gervais began by saying: “You don’t hit someone over a joke, however bad it is – and it wasn’t bad!

“That was like the tamest joke I would’ve ever told,” the 60-year-old told his followers.

“Jada, I love you. GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see you,” Rock had joked during the ceremony, in an apparent reference to Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Pinkett Smith stated last year that she shaved her head after struggling with alopecia.

April 8 – The 'good behaviour' gag

Gervais again mocked Will Smith after it was announced that the actor had been banned from The Academy for 10 years.

Shortly after the decision was made public, Gervais reshared news of Smith’s punishment on Twitter with the caption: “Hopefully, he’ll only do 6 years with good behaviour.”

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)