Kevin Hart thinks everyone should stay out of the situation between Will Smith and Chris Rock.
On the latest episode of the Drink Champs podcast, Hart, 43, addressed where Smith and Rock stand after the March 27 Oscars incident, saying it’s between them, not outside parties.
“People make mistakes, and from mistakes they should be allowed time to f—in’ recover,” the actor/comedian said. “And that this is no longer the world’s problem — it’s Will and Chris’s problem. Let them deal with that. The world should step out of it and let them recover.”
He later added, “Let Will recover from it. Let Chris get back to work as normal. Let two men be men and figure that out if they choose to. If they do, they do. If they don’t, they don’ t.”
Hart also said that Smith, 54, is a “legend” who paved the way for more movie stars to be given chances in Hollywood, adding that no one can take that legacy away from him.
“Will Smith is the reason why the idea of African Americans attached to global IP is normal. Studios took the gamble on more leads of color because of the work that Will Smith, Denzel [Washington] were doing in the beginning, right? You need the faces that are giving the universal return. So I’m not gonna s— on Will and act like he hasn’t been and wasn’t that guy.”
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Getty (2) Chris Rock (L); Will Smith
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In July, Hart told Entertainment Tonight that Smith was working on himself after the incident: “Will is apologetic, you know. He’s in a better space, of course, than what he was after. People are human, and as humans sometimes we make mistakes. So it’s not about talking about the past, it’s about acknowledging the present and doing your best to move forward.”
Hart said at the time that he’s still friends with both Smith and Rock, adding that he hoped they can make amends.
“I can only hope that the two of them find a way to find some solace in that and move past it. I just like good energy. I love to see people be the best. I still love him; I still love Chris. You can’t judge a person by one thing. Ultimately, life goes on and people grow, so give him the opportunity to do so.”
At the Oscars, before his win for Best Actor, Smith walked onstage and hit Rock on live television after taking issue with a joke made about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith. The joke was about Jada’s shaved head; she lives with alopecia, and Will explained in a statement days later that the punchline was “too much for me to bear” and he “reacted emotionally.”
Smith later resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was banned from attending its ceremonies for the next 10 years.
Jason Kempin/MTV1415/Getty Will Smith and Kevin Hart in 2016
Jada, 51, addressed the incident on an episode of her Red Table Talk show, saying, “About Oscar night: My deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have an opportunity to heal, talk this out and reconcile. With the state of the world today, we need ’em both, and we all actually need one another more than ever. Until then, Will and I are continuing to do what we have done for the last 28 years — and that’s [to] keep figuring out this thing called life together. Thank you for listening.”
In a video apology shared earlier this summer, Smith said he has reached out to Rock about speaking about the incident. He said, “I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk, and when he is he will reach out. So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”