“This is going to be difficult for me. These are my peers. I’ve done a movie with both of them. Set It Off with Jada and Independence Day with Will Smith, which absolutely changed my life. When I saw this video last night, it made me cry, I’ll be very honest with you guys,” she emotionally shared.
“I really felt to be a partner to Will Smith who’s career basically took a crumble that night,” she added. “We were all rooting for Will Smith that night — Oscar night — we wanted him to win. Will Smith that night as far as I was concerned was going to be crowned this generation’s Sidney Poitier, which is a huge honor.”
Fox then opened up about why she felt Jada, 50, had a role in the incident which occurred after Rock joked about Jada’s shaved head leading Will to walk onstage and strike the comedian.
“Will Smith was defending her honor, that’s the reason he walked on stage and slapped because he felt like his wife had been offended so for me to see no accountability as a partner,” she explained. “Also, let’s not forget, Chris Rock was assaulted. We cannot forget that for basically telling a joke that I really felt wasn’t that bad.”
She continued, “Let’s not forget the show was executive produced by Will Packer, an African American man. This night was a night of African American and diversity for brown and black people. That now will forever be scarred.”
Fox hoped Will and Jada would take more responsibility for their actions in the aftermath of the incident.
“I have love for the Smiths. I know their children. I’ve watched them grow up,” she said. “I just wish we could have just a little more accountability and for it to not seem so self-righteous on Jada’s part and that’s my feelings.”
On Wednesday’s Red Table Talk, Jada addressed the audience directly, saying, “About Oscar night. My deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have an opportunity to heal, talk this out and reconcile.”
“With the state of the world today, we need ’em both, and we all actually need one another more than ever,” the Girls Trip actress continued.
“Until then, Will and I are continuing to do what we have done for the last 28 years — and that’s [to] keep figuring out this thing called life together. Thank you for listening,” Jada concluded.
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Will, 53, was banned from future ceremonies and related events for 10 years by the Academy for slapping Rock, 57, onstage during the March ceremony when the comedian made a joke which touched on Jada’s appearance. The actress has alopecia.
Since the incident, Will — who went on to win Best Actor for his performance in King Richard — has publicly apologized to Rock, saying that he “reacted emotionally” because the “joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear.”