Transformers and Bad Boys director Michael Bay recently reacted to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock saying he doesn’t care and would rather have people paying more attention to what is happening in Ukraine.
Bay, who directed Will Smith in both Bad Boys and Bad Boys II, spoke with Yahoo! Entertainment in promotion of his latest film, Ambulance.
When asked by Yahoo! Entertainment’s Kevin Polowy what his response to the incident was and whether or not he watched it, Bay said, “I wasn’t. I saw it. Everyone’s texting me like, ‘Did you see it? Did you see it? Did you see it?'”
He then condemned Smith’s actions, “First of all, it’s wrong to begin with, okay? But that’s all people are talking about. I don’t really care.”
Bay when on to explain why he doesn’t care, “Hollywood gets very self-absorbed. There are babies getting blown up in Ukraine right now. We should be talking about that.”
“So, I really don’t care. It wasn’t right,” he reiterated.
Bay then talked to Smith’s character, “I’ve worked with him. He is not that guy. I’ve never seen him lose that cool like that.”
He then claimed he believed it was a set up, “I thought it was a set up because I saw the smirk. I’ve been on set when Will screws with people, joking with people.”
Bay added, “Listen it was a slap. It wasn’t a punch. He’s very good at fighting. He’s trained at that. Slap is a sting.”
Again he reiterated, “It’s wrong to begin with, but — and then I knew the yell was right. He was — he was mad.”
Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars after Rock made a G.I. Jane joke about Jada Pinkett Smith. After slapping Rock, Smith returned to his seat and proceeded to yell at Rock saying, “Leave my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth!”
Rock responded, “Wow, dude. It was a G.I. Jane joke.” Smith then responded, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.”
“I’m going to, okay?”, responds Rock. “That was the greatest night in the history of television,” he added before returning to the programming of the night.
Smith would go on to win the Oscar for Best Actor for his role as Richard Williams in King Richard. He would briefly apologize during his acceptance speech saying, “I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all of my fellow nominees.”
He would offer another apology via Instagram where he specifically named Chris Rock.
Smith wrote, “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. 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,” he continued.
Smith then specifically mentioned Rock writing, “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. 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. ”
He then added, “I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family.”
“I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us. I am a work in progress,” he concluded.
In a statement resigning from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences he apologized again.
According to Variety, the statement read, “The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home.”
“I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken,” the actor added.
He continued, “I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film.”
Smith then concluded saying, “Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”
What do you make of Michael Bay’s reaction to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock?