It’s been over a year since Will Smith walked onstage and struck comedian Chris Rock as he presented at the Academy Awards ceremony. Some people still aren’t over it, specifically actor Sean Penn.
In a recent interview with Variety, the "I Am Sam" star didn't mince words when addressing Smith's behavior that evening, but not before commending the actor for his Oscar-winning performance as Richard Williams, the father, and coach of the renowned tennis players Venus and Serena Williams.
“I don’t know Will Smith. I met him once. He seemed very nice when I met him. He was so f---ing good in ‘King Richard,’” he told the publication. “So why the f—ck did you just spit on yourself and everybody else with this stupid f—king thing?”
Penn further raised the question of why the "Bad Boys" star did not face criminal charges, drawing a comparison to his own experience over twenty years ago. In 1987, the actor punched and spat on an extra during the filming of "Colors," leading to a sentence of 60 days in county jail, though he ultimately served only 33 days.
“Why did I go to f—king jail for what you just did? And you’re still sitting there?” Penn continued. “Why are you guys standing and applauding his worst moment as a person?”
In a later interview, Will Packer, who produced the show that year, revealed that police officers were prepared to arrest Smith had Rock wanted to press charges, which he never did.
The “Hitch” star eventually apologized for his Oscars outburst and resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The actor was also banned from attending its events for the next decade.