Popular podcaster and MMA host Joe Rogan has recently been making headlines for his controversial stance on actor Will Smith’s infamous Oscars slap.
In a recent episode of “The Joe Rogan Experience,” while speaking with actor Jon Bernthal, Rogan said he believes Smith is a “human being” who “has to be forgiven” for slapping comedian Chris Rock on stage at the awards show.
Rogan said he initially was on board with shunning Smith forever but has had a change of heart. He argued that Smith is aware of his actions and genuinely feels bad for what unfolded last year. He believes “the real person who has to forgive him — if he wants to is Chris Rock.”
The incident in question occurred when Rock joked while on stage at the Oscars about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who has a shaved head due to struggles with alopecia. Smith started walking up on the stage and toward Rock and then slapped the comedian and walked back to his seat.
Many stars later spoke out about the incident and the fact Smith was permitted to stay in the room; the actor also later won Best Actor and received a standing ovation — something many found disturbing.
Wanda Sykes said, “You assault someone; you get escorted out of the building. That’s it.” Jim Carrey described Hollywood as “spineless” due to the lack of action taken against Smith.
“I was sickened. I was sickened by the standing ovation,” Carrey said. “I felt like Hollywood is just spineless en masse, and it just really felt like, ‘Oh, this is a really clear indication that we’re not the cool club anymore.’”
Smith has repeatedly apologized for the incident. In a recent discussion with Trevor Noah, Smith called the Oscars night “horrific.” He said, “at the end of the day, I just – I lost it, you know. I guess what I would say is that you just never know what somebody’s going through.”
Smith continued, “I was going through something that night, you know? Not that that justifies my behavior at all. I understand how shocking that was for people … I was gone. That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.”