Will Smith slap explains ‘huge crime problem’ in US, says Fox News host

Fox News

One of the takes on Will Smith’s Oscars altercation with Chris Rock we definitely didn’t need to see was from Fox News host Jesse Watters, who has claimed the slap “explains why there’s such a huge crime problem” in the US.

The controversial presenter made the remarks on talk show The Five, which saw an appearance by former Good Morning Britain presenter Piers Morgan as a guest panellist.

Commenting on the infamous moment from Sunday night, Mr Watters said the next day: “It’s the first time I’ve seen the media cover Black-on-Black crime so I’m actually quite surprised by this.

“Come on! You’re really going to allow him to go up on stage later and accept an award. Are you crazy?

“The fact that the LA sheriff didn’t haul this guy out of there at the next commercial break explains why there’s such a huge crime problem in this country because you just go up as an audience member and just coldcock a comedian on live television and get away with it.”

Except that isn’t quite the case, as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – who oversee the Oscars – issued a statement saying condemning Smith’s actions.

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“We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law,” it said.

Meanwhile, Rock declined to press charges against Smith over the slap, Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) confirmed.

If you somehow missed what unfolded at the ceremony at the weekend, Smith hit Rock after the latter compared the wife of the King Richard star to GI Jane.

Jada Pinkett Smith shaved her head last year, while dealing with hair loss caused by the autoimmune condition, alopecia.

In a statement posted to Instagram on Monday, Smith apologised to Rock and the Academy, describing his behaviour as “unacceptable and inexcusable” and that “violence in all of its forms is poisonous and structive”.

He said: “Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.

“I would like to publicly apologise to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong.

“I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.

“I would also like to apologise to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologise to the Williams family and my King Richard family.

“I deeply regret that my behaviour has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us. I am a work in progress,” he concluded.

Watters’ intervention in the ongoing slap discourse has since been ridiculed and criticised by people on Twitter, who have pointed out that it’s actually the LAPD who would investigate the incident (not the sheriff) and Rock had refused to press charges:

We are still trying to locate the moment where we asked for Watters’ opinion amongst all this and will update you when we can find it.

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