‘I lost a lot of respect for him’: Steve Harvey calls Will Smith’s Oscars slap of Chris Rock a ‘punk move’

Entertainer Steve Harvey had some choice words for the “punk of a move” that Will Smith made at the 94th Academy Awards when he explained how he “lost a lot of respect for him.”

The 65-year-old “Family Feud” host joined attorney Mo Ivory as part of her course at Georgia State University College of Law where she had spent the semester examining Harvey’s legal agreements with her students. During the back-and-forth with the aspiring class, the matter of Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock over his poorly received joke at the expense of Jada Pinkett Smith came up.

Harvey expressed that this was what happened when you ignored people who were snapping at you and said, “I’m a Christian, right, but I’m like a really undeveloped Christian…I don’t do like high-level Christianity. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’m like a 2, and that’s good.”

“That’s the level of Christianity I can work on. Like you slap Bishop [T.D.] Jakes,” the comedian suggested, using the megachurch leader as an example, “he’ll turn the other cheek. Cause he’s a high-level Christian. You slap me? Will Smith, lemme explain something to ya, it’s no way you slappin’ me, turn around, button your jacket and walk off that stage.”

“They’re gonna have to go to four commercial breaks,” Harvey declared. “I’m not saying I wouldn’t get slapped, but I’m just saying before you sit your a** back in your chair, Jada and everybody else gonna have to move out the way. Cause we gonna be down here movin’ furniture around, partner. That’s the type of Christian I am.”

The actor and game show host went on to apologize for expressing his views as it wasn’t relevant to the discussion, but he went on to explain how insulting the behavior was to him, especially as he is good friends with Rock.

“I lost a lot of respect for him that day,” Harvey said of Smith, calling the action a “punk of a move” that he only got away with because it was on the Oscar stage. “Where else in this world can you go slap a full-grown man, turn around, and button up your jacket?”

Proof enough of Harvey’s point came recently when comedian Dave Chappelle was recently attacked on stage. The assailant was taken down by security and then escorted off the stage. Rock happened to be at the event and joked at the time, “Was that Will Smith?”

Chappelle, too, made light of the incident at his appearance with Rock where he said to his peer, “At least you got smacked by someone of repute! I got smacked by a homeless guy with leaves in his hair.”

Though Harvey suggested Smith got away with it, the fact remains that after his public apology and resignation from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Board of Governors determined that a 10-year suspension was a necessary disciplinary action for the offense.


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Kevin Haggerty


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