O.J. Simpson Says Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock Was ‘Wrong’ But He ‘Understood the Feeling’
The Oscars slap, heard around the world, prompted a response from O.J. Simpson, who said he understands how Will Smith felt. With a nearly two-minute video shared on Twitter on Tuesday, Simpson became the latest celebrity to respond to the incident.
“Now, I thought the question I would be getting all day would be the question about the overtime rule of the NFL,” he said. “Well, you know, I don’t totally agree with it. … But the question I’ve been getting is Will Smith and Chris Rock.”
According to Simpson, who was tried for the murders of his former wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman in 1994 and '95, he doesn't condone Smith's behavior, but he understands it. “It was unfortunate, I think Will was wrong. Look, I understood the feeling,” he said. “In my life I’ve been through a lot of crap, when I was raising two young kids and every comedian in the country had an O.J. routine. And don’t think I wouldn’t wanna B-slap a couple of those guys, but you gotta accept it’s humor.”
He conceded that Chris Rock’s joke, which was made at the expense of Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, was “semi unfunny.” He continued, “I know this, after what happened to me in Las Vegas, if I would’ve done that in front of a billion people around the world, they would’ve given me life without. I’m just saying.”
He captioned the video, “He was wrong but I understand the
Simpson was arrested in 2008 as he led a group of men into a Las Vegas hotel to steal sports memorabilia he claimed had been stolen from him. In 2017, he was granted parole after being convicted of all 12 charges and sentenced to 33 years in prison. In the 1990s, many comedians, including Chris Rock and Dave Chappelle, delivered routines about Simpson's murder trial.
Numerous celebrities have commented on the slapping incident following Sunday's ceremony. Amy Schumer said that the moment was "disturbing," while Donald Glover expressed his ambivalence, saying he "can't pick sides" because he loves both actors.