Nadhim Zahawi says it was 'good to see' Will Smith apologise 'immediately' ...
BBC

The most unlikely commentator has been weighing in on the Will Smith and Chris Rock Oscar row - the education secretary.

Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi this morning described Smith as “one of my favourite actors” and said Rock was “mistaken” to make a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

But LBC and BBC Breakfast viewers were left scratching their heads over why a Cabinet member was giving his opinion on the incident.

Last night viewers were shocked when Smith struck Rock after the comedian made a joke about Pinkett Smith. Smith later apologised for the smack, remarking: “Love will make you do crazy things."

Speaking to LBC, Zahawi said: “Violence is never the answer to any problem-solving, as Will Smith admitted himself in that tearful, heart-wrenching apology.

“I think we should also remember – and I’m the Education Secretary – that actually sometimes even a joke can be below the belt.

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“When a joke is about somebody’s wife and her illness – she has alopecia – it is wrong. I think Chris Rock was mistaken to do that to Mrs Smith.”

He added: “I have to say, a first Oscar for one of my favourite actors was wonderful to see – marred by that incident, sadly.”

The politician made similar remarks on BBC Breakfast when asked how he would explain the incident to children if he was a teacher.

He said: “I would say, don’t do it.

“You could see Will Smith – and my heart was broken when I saw him, that tearful apology, he apologised immediately.

“It was hard for him because it was someone who made a joke about his wife and her illness. That’s not easy but he regretted it and he apologised immediately.

“It is heart-breaking when you lose control of your emotions in that way, but I think it is important not to allow yourself to cross that line, and he apologised immediately, which is good to see.

“A very talented man, his first Oscar in a fantastic film, King Richard… it is a brilliant film of aspiration for that family, but my heart went out to Will Smith and his family.”

The education secretary’s comments on the Smith situation earned comparisons to satirical news programme Brass Eye, with some questioning why he was asked about it in the first place.

Well, there you have it.

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