Crews gave his thoughts on Smith slapping Chris Rock during a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter. Smith slapped Rock onstage at the 2022 Academy Awards after the comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head.
“Both Will Smith and Chris Rock are dear, dear friends of mine. I love them both as brothers,” Crews told the outlet.
“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.
“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 was specifically talking about the time he got into a fight with someone asking for his autograph. The “White Chicks” actor got physical with the man after he allegedly made a comment about Crews’ pregnant wife.
“I was like, ‘Why did I do this?’ I could not control myself, “Crews recalled.
Crews also recalled a time he was in the position of Rock. The actor was once allegedly groped by a “high-level Hollywood executive” while at a party in 2016. Crews said he “chose to be in control.”
“It wasn’t until I was Chris Rock literally in that moment – when I was assaulted by agent Adam Venit – and I chose to be in control. I chose to hold everything together. It could have descended into chaos,” he said of the 2016 incident. “It would’ve been the end of me. The time that I was Chris was the time that saved my life.”
Venit did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment.
If Rock had reacted to the slap any differently, Crews said Hollywood would have lost all “respect.”
“When I look back, by what Chris did, by just deciding to hold everything together, it … in a lot of ways saved Hollywood. Because if there’ve been a brawl on that stage, I don’t know if Hollywood would have ever gotten any respect again, you know? It’s hard to even imagine what would’ve happened. “
Smith was banned from attending any Academy Award events for the next ten years. The punishment came after the actor resigned from the academy.
Before the resignation and punishment, Smith publicly apologized to Rock via Instagram.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” Smith wrote in part on Instagram. “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.
“My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.”