“Nope, not you O.J., not you,” Oliver, 44, said during an episode of Last Week Tonight on Sunday, April 3. “No one wants to hear from you on this, especially, when you seem to be coming live from the COVID patio of a Señor Frog’s. You can just sit this one out. Think of this situation like a rowdy bachelorette ordering a mimosa. We want as little Juice involved here as humanly possible.”
Simpson, 74, for his part, took to social media shortly after the shocking awards show moment to defend Smith, 53.
“It was unfortunate. I think Will was wrong. Look, I understood the feeling. In my life, I’ve been through a lot of crap,” the former athlete explained in a Twitter video on Tuesday, March 29. “Every comedian in the country had an O.J. routine. Don’t think I didn’t want to slap some of those guys. You just have to accept that it’s humor.”
The California native, who was granted parole in 2017 following an armed robbery case, also tweeted, “[Will Smith] was wrong but I understand the sentiment.”
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum recently made headlines during the 94th annual Academy Awards on March 27. While presenting an award, Rock, 57, made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith‘s shaved head. Pinkett Smith, 50, who has alopecia, rolled her eyes at the comment before her husband walked up to the stage and hit the comedian.
As the Suicide Squad star returned to his seat, he was seen yelling back at Rock to “keep my wife’s name out your f—king mouth.”
One day later, Smith issued an apology for the “unacceptable and inexcusable” actions that took place on camera. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness,” he wrote via Instagram.
The Philadelphia native added: “I would also like to apologize to The Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.”
Less than a week after the altercation, Smith resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
“I have directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct. My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable,” the I Am Legend star, who won the best actor trophy, said in a statement on Friday, April 1, according to Variety. “The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home. I betrayed the trust of the Academy.”
Smith noted that his actions “deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity” to celebrate their accomplishments. “I am heartbroken. I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film,” he concluded. “So, I am resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate.”
Rock, however, has not addressed the situation or Smith’s apology publicly. A source exclusively told Us Weekly that he hinted that the incident during a recent stand-up gig. “Chris broke the ice by sarcastically saying he’s had an interesting week,” an eyewitness revealed to Us of Rock’s performance in New Jersey on Saturday, April 2. “Everyone laughed because they knew what he was referring to, of course.”