What Steve Harvey, Tiffany Haddish, And Other Hollywood Stars Have Said About The Will Smith Oscar Slap

Will Smith at the Oscars
(Image credit: ABC)

The 2022 Oscars was something to remember. There were some legendary wins, such as Ariana DeBose’s historic accolade or CODA receiving Best Picture. But nothing was quite talked about more than the slap that was heard around the world. That’s right, I’m talking about Will Smith defending his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, after Chris Rock made fun of her alopecia on stage that night, when he walked up to him and slapped the comedian straight across the face.

The response from the world has been mixed, to say the least, with some agreeing with what Smith did and others, not so much, and this comes from those in Hollywood, as well. From people who have co-starred with Smith, or were friends with Rock, to people who just wanted to share their opinion on the matter, here are nine celebrities and how they felt about that infamous slap. 

Judge Steve Harvey

(Image credit: ABC)

Steve Harvey

Steve Harvey is known for his fun TV hosting skills and creating some viral moments on Family Feud, and he decided to comment on the incident, calling it a “punk move” on Smith’s part, during a speaking engagement that happened at Georgia State University, via Deadline. Commenting on his nature as a Christian and how he personally feels, he said:

I’m a Christian, but I’m really undeveloped. I don’t have high-level Christianity. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’m like a 2. That’s the level of Christianity I can work on. You slap T.D. Jakes, he’ll turn the other cheek. You slap me? If you sit back in your seat, Jada [Will’s wife] would have to move out of the way. That’s the type of Christian I am.

screenshot the view

(Image credit: ABC)

Whoopi Goldberg

Whoopi Goldberg has made her name in Hollywood by appearing in many movies and drawing eyes to The View, where she’s acted as a moderator for several years now. But, like everyone else, she also commented on the slap, saying that “nobody is OK” with what occurred, while on The View:

There are consequences. There are big consequences because nobody is OK with what happened. Nobody, nobody, nobody.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Kareem: Minority of One

(Image credit: HBO Films)

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Likewise, famous NBA all-star, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (who actually guest-starred on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air way back when alongside Smith) went online to express his thoughts on the matter, but did so in his own personal essay on Substack. You can read Abdul-Jabbar's full statement there, but he did talk about how it was so inappropriate for Smith to do what he did, and how it paints not only the entertainment industry but the Black community in a bad light:  

With a single petulant blow, he advocated violence, diminished women, insulted the entertainment industry, and perpetuated stereotypes about the Black community.

screenshot nicki minaj

(Image credit: Young Money/Cash Records)

Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj is known for her numerous contributions to the music industry, specifically in the rap genre as a Black female artist, but on Twitter the night of the Oscars slap, she offered her thoughts on the matter, and agreed with what Smith did, saying that you have to think of it from his perspective: 

You just got to witness in real time what happens in a man’s soul when he looks over to the woman he loves & sees her holding back tears from a “little joke” at her expense. This is what any & every real man feels in that instant. While y’all seeing the joke he’s seeing her pain.

Tim Allen in Last Man Standing

(Image credit: Fox)

Tim Allen

Next up, we have Tim Allen, a comedic actor known for many great movie roles, who, while he wasn’t in attendance at the ceremony, wanted to express his thoughts on the manner on Twitter as well, commending Rock’s way of handling the situation and condemning what Smith did: 

It’s not ok to come up on stage and hit a dude cause you don’t like the humor. It’s not ok at a Comedy Club, concert hall or hosting some cheeseball award show. Chris Rock is a stand up comedian and a standup guy who carried on. I think I would have run.

Tiffany Haddish in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

(Image credit: Lionsgate)

Tiffany Haddish 

Tiffany Haddish has been making a name for herself in Hollywood over the last several years with appearances in several movies and TV shows, and she took the time out of her day to comment on the incident to People Magazine, defending Smith and saying it was “the most beautiful thing” she’s seen: 

When I saw a Black man stand up for his wife. That meant so much to me. As a woman, who has been unprotected, for someone to say, 'Keep my wife's name out your mouth, leave my wife alone,' that's what your husband is supposed to do, right? Protect you. And that meant the world to me. And maybe the world might not like how it went down, but for me, it was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen because it made me believe that there are still men out there that love and care about their women, their wives.

Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker in The Force Awakens

(Image credit: Lucasfilm)

Mark Hamill 

One of the most iconic actors of the last several decades is Mark Hamill, who's known for his role as Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars saga, and like many others, he used his social media platform to express his thoughts on the slap on Twitter:  

Stand-up comics are very adept at handling hecklers. Violent physical assault...not so much. #UgliestOscarMoment_Ever

Conan O'Brien in Murderville

(Image credit: Netflix)

Conan O’Brien

Comedians from all over were standing by Chris Rock after what happened, but one who decided to make a little bit of a joke out of the whole incident was Conan O’Brien. The former late-night talk show host, who hosted his TBS show, Conan, until 2021, simply released this statement about the Oscars slap on Twitter:

Just saw the Will Smith slap. Anyone have a late night show I can borrow just for tomorrow?

I would have loved to see O’Brien's take on it during an hour of late night.

Sophia Bush as Sam in Good Sam

(Image credit: CBS)

Sophia Bush

Last but not least, Sophia Bush of the One Tree Hill cast fame, also condemned Smith’s actions on Twitter, but was also not completely on Rock’s side either, saying that both parties were in the wrong:  

Violence isn’t ok. Assault is never the answer. Also? This is the 2nd time that Chris has made fun of Jada on the #Oscars stage, & tonight he went after her alopecia. Punching down at someone’s auto-immune disease is wrong. Doing so on purpose is cruel. They both need a breather.

While I doubt we’re going to get as big of a moment as this one at the Oscars again for some time, we truly won’t ever forget this - and I’m sure those in Hollywood won’t forget it either. 

Alexandra Ramos
Content Producer

Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!