Wanda Sykes says she was “traumatized” by Will Smith‘s physical and verbal attack on Chris Rock at last Sunday’s Academy Awards.
While shooting an upcoming appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Sykes, who co-hosted the 94th Annual Academy Awards with Regina Hall and Amy Schumer, told Ellen “I’m still a little traumatized by it. It was sickening. I physically felt ill.”
“For something to happen like what happened with Will and Chris, it takes away from so many things,” said DeGeneres, a former Oscars host herself.
“Absolutely,” Sykes agreed.
“It took away from Questlove‘s win, it took away from the Williams family…,” Ellen continued.
Wanda recalled, “We had just introduced Chris…So I ran to my trailer to watch him…And when I got to the monitor backstage, I just saw Will leaving the stage, and everything was quiet. And I was like, ‘What happened, what happened?'”
Wanda said from her vantage point, she could hear Will cursing from his seat, and, “I was like, ‘Is this really happening?’
“I just felt so bad for my friend Chris,” the fellow stand-up said.
Sykes added forcefully, “For them to let him stay in that room, and enjoy the rest of the show, and accept his award, I was like, ‘How gross is this?’ You assault somebody, you get assaulted out the building, and that’s it.”
“And plus, I wanted to be able to run out after her won and say, ‘Unfortunately, Will couldn’t be here tonight,'” Wanda said to applause.
Sykes continued, “I know he apologized to Chris, but…we were the hosts…We worked really hard…And nobody apologized to us, I mean [people in] the industry…It’s wrong. It’s wrong.”
Wanda added, “I saw Chris at [an afterparty] and as soon as I walked up to him, the first thing he said was, ‘I’m so sorry.’ And I said, ‘Why are you sorry?’ And he said, ‘This was supposed to be your night, you, and Amy and Regina we’re doing such a great job, and now it’s gonna be about this.'”
The full interview airs on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Thursday, April 7.
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