*Steve Harvey says he has lost respect for Will Smith after the actor slapped Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars in March.
Harvey made the comments while speaking at Georgia State University, Deadline reports. During the 94th Academy Awards, Rock made a “G.I. Jane 2” joke directed at Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head, which she shaved because she’s allegedly battling alopecia. The joke caused Will to sock Chris in the face out of anger. Harvey called the moment a “punk move.”
“I’m a Christian, but I’m really undeveloped. I don’t have high-level Christianity. On a scale of one to 10, I’m like a two. That’s the level of Christianity I can work on,” said Harvey. “You slap T.D. Jakes, he’ll turn the other cheek. You slap me? If you sit back in your seat, Jada would have to move out of the way. That’s the type of Christian I am.”
Harvey went on to say that he has “lost a lot of respect for” Smith.
“I understand defending the honor of your wife, I’m that dude. … He didn’t do that. That joke was not worthy of the reaction,” the 65-year-old said. “If he was gonna have a reaction, I think that Will should have done the man thing, which is step to him afterwards in that press room. And if he wanted to slap Chris then, he could have slapped Chris in the press room and seen how it went.”
After slapping Rock at the Oscars, Smith later posted a written apology on social media to Rock, which the comedian has yet to address.
Smith also resigned from the Academy and the organization banned him from attending the Oscars for 10 years.
Academy President David Rubin said in a statement regarding the ban, “We want to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances. We also want to thank our hosts, nominees, presenters and winners for their poise and grace during our telecast.
“This action we are taking today in response to Will Smith’s behavior is a step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring trust in the Academy,” Rubin concluded.