Wanda Sykes Recalls 'Shock' at Oscars After 'Bizarre' Will Smith Slap

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Wanda Sykes still can’t believe what she witnessed at the 2022 Academy Awards in March, when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock. Sykes, who hosted the ceremony with Amy Schumer and Regina Hall, appeared on Live With Kelly and Ryan and shared that she is still in shock about the night’s “bizarre” turn of events.  

“It was just like, ‘What is happening?’ Just shock,” the 58-year-old comedian said told hosts Kelly Ripa and Ryan Seacrest on Tuesday.

“I couldn’t believe it. Shock and then it was like ‘So everybody’s just gonna sit here?’ It was like the show just kept going on," she recalled. "Then I would look behind the curtain like, ‘He’s still sitting there? What is happening? What is going on?' It was crazy, it was just bizarre.” 

Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, and Regina Hall Oscars
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Shortly after Sykes introduced Rock to the stage to present an award, Smith walked on stage and abruptly slapped Rock after he made a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.  

In the month following the incident, Smith was banned from any Academy events for the next 10 years, and Sykes reacted to the incident during an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, calling it “sickening.”  

Outside of the slap, Sykes said on Live that the Oscars was one to remember. “It was an amazing night, it really was,” she told Ripa and Seacrest. “It was just so much good vibes going on in the room. The CODA team. The movie CODA was killing it. Everybody was really happy.” 

Will Smith and Chris Rock
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Even though she had a good time, Sykes said that hosting the ceremony is one job she would not do again.  

“Oh hell no!” the comedian quipped. “I shouldn’t say it like that. It was an amazing honor and I think it’s something you want to do. You do it once. Yeah, I don’t know if I would want to do it again. It's a huge job and it took a lot of people to clean me up.” 


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