Sean Penn is venting his frustration over Will Smith's Oscars assault.
In an interview with Variety published Wednesday, the actor, 63, called out Smith for hitting Rock with an open hand at the event. The incident took place in March last year, when Smith stormed on to the stage and assaulted Rock for a joke he'd made about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Not long after, Smith went on to win Best Actor for his role in "King Richard."
"I don't know Will Smith. I met him once," Penn told Variety. And while he praised the actor for his performance in "King Richard," he questioned why Smith hadn't been sent to jail for what he did.
"Why did I go to f****** jail for what you just did? And you're still sitting there?" the actor said. "Why are you guys standing and applauding his worst moment as a person?"
Back in June 1987, Penn received a 60-day county jail sentence for punching an extra on a movie set, and was also charged with reckless driving, as reported by the Los Angeles Times.
During his interivew with Variety, Penn also expressed his disappointment with the Academy's decision to deny Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy an opportunity to speak at the 2022 Oscars, held shortly after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"The Oscars producer thought, 'Oh, he's not light-hearted enough.' Well, guess what you got instead? Will Smith!" Penn said.
Weeks after the assault, Smith released an apology video on YouTube saying he was "ready to talk" whenever Rock was. Smith explained that he had reached out to Rock following the Oscars incident but "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," Smith, who resigned from the Academy and was banned from attending ceremonies for 10 years, added. "My behavior was unacceptable, and I'm here whenever you're ready to talk."
Rock addressed Smith's apology during a stand-up show last September. Taking to the stage, Rock called out Smith, saying "f*** your hostage video," according to Deadline staff who were in the audience.
"Yes that s*** hurt," Rock added about the altercation. "He [Smith] played Ali. I can’t even play Floyd Mayweather."
Zoe Papadakis ✉
Zoe Papadakis is a Newsmax writer based in South Africa with two decades of experience specializing in media and entertainment. She has been in the news industry as a reporter, writer and editor for newspapers, magazine and websites.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.