*Terry Crews claims Chris Rock “saved Hollywood” by keeping his composure after Will Smith slapped him at the Academy Awards last month.
While promoting his new memoir “Tough: My True Journey to Power” in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Crews also weighed in on the Smith/Rock dynamic and the fallout from the infamous Oscars slap.
“Both Will Smith and Chris Rock are dear, dear friends of mine,” he told the THR. “I love them both as brothers, but there was a time in my life [where] I was Will Smith at that moment, and let me tell you, I’ve done worse than Will.”
“Way overkill, just … the punishment did not fit the crime. Like, people were like, ‘What in the world are you doing?’ My wife even had to be like, ‘You got to promise me you will never go off like this. You did not need to pick this man up and put him on his head, on the concrete,’ ” Crews recounted.
Crews went on to explain why Rock “saved Hollywood” after being slapped by another Black man in a room full of their white colleagues, on live television.
“When I look back, by what Chris did, by just deciding to hold everything together, it actually, I think in a lot of ways saved Hollywood,” Crews explained to THR. “Because if there would’ve been a brawl on that stage, I don’t know if Hollywood would’ve ever gotten any respect again, you know? It’s hard to even imagine what would’ve happened.”
Crews continued, “The definition of toughness where I grew up and the way I was, it was always the ability to strike, the ability to punch, the ability to set things straight, to even the score,” he said. “But the true definition of toughness was what Chris did in taking a punch and then holding everything together and then showing tremendous endurance and resilience in the middle of obstacles.”
“I think it was a miracle what Chris did. I really do. I couldn’t believe his poise in that moment. I thought, holy cow, we owe him a lot. I think every performer owes him so much because it just really saved Hollywood in that moment. I’m very thankful to Chris, but also I understand Will. I’m not [one] to demonize Will at all because I was there,” Crews added.
During the 94th Academy Awards, Rock made a “G.I. Jane 2” joke directed at Pinkett Smith’s bald head, which she shaved because she’s battling alopecia. The joke caused Will to sock Chris in the face out of anger, something he has since apologized for twice.
Meanwhile, Jada hinted that her family will eventually unpack the Oscars drama on her Facebook Watch series “Red Table Talk.”
Ahead of the season premiere, she released the following statement. “Considering all that has happened in the last few weeks, the Smith family has been focusing on deep healing. Some of the discoveries around our healing will be shared at the table when the time calls. Until then… the table will continue offering itself to powerful, inspiring and healing testimonies like that of our incredibly impressive first guest. Thanks for joining us, Jada.”