White House replies about Will Smith hitting Chris Rock at the Oscars

White House communications director Kate Bedingfield stepped in for the press briefing on Tuesday after Jen Psaki and her deputy Karine Jean-Pierre tested positive for Covid.

But the attention was soon turned to one odd question asking whether the White House condemned Will Smith hitting Chris Rock during the Oscars – and people can't believe it's not an SNL skit.

Simon Ateba of Today News Africa asked Bedingfield about "the biggest story right now" when Smith struck Rock after a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's hair loss.

"You saw the level of violence that was unleashed on Chris Rock. Is that something that the White House condones — that type of violence? Do you condemn it? And do you do anything to support comedians who have been attacked and other artists?" Ateba asked.

Bedingfield responded, "I don't have any official comment from the White House on the altercation."

She added that president Joe Biden had not watched the Academy Awards on Sunday.

"I know the president was not able to watch the Oscars — didn't see it," she added. "So I don't have anything. I don't have any official comment from him or from the White House on this."

Ateba followed up, asking, "Do you condemn the violence at the Oscars? Is that something that you condemn?"

Bedingfield repeated, "I don't have a White House comment on that."

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Naturally, the internet did what it does best and roasted the outlandish press question.

"What was the expected answer here? 'Yeah, the president is going to send Seal Team 6 to guard the laugh factory," one said. "Additionally, the 28th amendment to the constitution will ban Will Smith from all future award shows.'"

Another compared the press briefing to a comedy sketch, saying: "Is this SNL? Or do you actual White House correspondents consider the potential launch of a nuclear or chemical war in Europe too boring?"

Smith later took to Instagram with a lengthy public apology for Rock, which divided opinions.

He called violence "poisonous and destructive" before condemning his behaviour as "unacceptable and inexcusable."

"I am a work in progress," he signed off.

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