Piers Morgan defends Will Smith over Oscar slap: 'I'd have done the same'

Piers Morgan shares his thoughts over Will Smith's Oscars slap (Getty/ITV)
Piers Morgan shares his thoughts over Will Smith's Oscars slap (Getty/ITV)

Just a day after Piers Morgan claimed Will Smith's physical attack on Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars ceremony was the 'ugliest moment' in the show's history, the TV presenter has now stated he would have done the same as the King Richard star.

The Men In Black actor slapped the comedian live on stage at the awards ceremony for making a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith's hair, with the incident immediately sending shockwaves around the globe.

In reaction to the uproar that followed, Morgan appeared to show support for Smith's decision to defend his wife in the heated moment.

"So much snowflakey bullsh*t re Oscars smackdown," he tweeted. "You can think Will Smith wrong to slap Chris Rock but still understand why he did it if he thought - incorrectly - Rock was deliberately mocking his wife’s alopecia in front of a gazillion people. I’d have probably done the same."

Read more: Jaden Smith criticised for response to Will Smith's Chris Rock altercation

Earlier the former Good Morning Britain host also stated on Twitter: "I don't think Chris Rock knew Jada suffered from alopecia. But Will Smith assumed he did & was mocking his wife's medical condition. That's what led to the furore, and that's why I have sympathy for both men."

In another tweet, he mused: "Fascinating to see many people on here furiously demanding more draconian action against Will Smith for slapping Chris Rock than they've demanded against Vladimir Putin for launching war against a whole country. #Perspective".

Will Smith appears to hit Chris Rock on Oscars stage (PA)
Will Smith slaps Chris Rock on the Oscars stage during live broadcast (PA)

His comments were a slight departure from his original reaction during the live broadcast on Sunday. At the time, the outspoken journalist had tweeted: "It was real. Just seen the uncensored footage. Will Smith hit Chris Rock for cracking a GI Jane joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith (who suffers from alopecia) - then twice screamed 'keep my wife's name out of your f***ing mouth' at him.

"Ugliest moment in Oscars history."

He added, "Astonishing", and "INSANE" before he shared a picture of himself playing the piano to the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star captioned: "That time I played Let It Be to Will Smith… #WhenIFindMyselfInTimesOfTrouble".

Watch: Will Smith hits Chris Rock at the Oscars

Morgan went on to explain why he was defending Smith in a column for The Sun as he recalled a time when the actor had warned the journalist not to offend his wife during an interview Morgan was conducting with Pinkett Smith.

"Before we started, he warned me: 'Don’t upset my wife, Mr Morgan, you wouldn’t like me when I’m angry.' He meant it," Morgan wrote. "I asked Jada why he was there. "He took two days off from Men In Black 3 to be with me and make sure I’m OK. He knows I’ve had a rough, rough schedule. And he was like, you know what, I’m going to take time off and take care of you. That’s love.'"

Piers Morgan leaves BBC Broadcasting House, London, after appearing on the BBC One current affairs programme, Sunday Morning. Picture date: Sunday January 16, 2022. (Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)
Piers Morgan leaves BBC Broadcasting House in London (Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images)

Morgan mused: "He was standing up for his wife, the woman from whom he blew off the dust when she was going through a rough time, and said he was going to make shine, and created a safe space for her to get healthy and to grow and define herself.

"In previous eras, he’d have been saluted for defending his girl, not savaged by an overly sensitive snowflake society."

Rock, 57, had been on stage to present the award for Best Documentary Feature, when he made a comment about Pinkett Smith possibly starring in a sequel to G.I. Jane due to her bald head.

Jada Pinkett Smith, left, and Will Smith arrive at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)
Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP)

Pinkett Smith, 50, has spoken openly in recent years about losing her hair due to alopecia and seemed to roll her eyes in reaction to the gag.

Smith, 53, then approached Rock on stage and hit him in the face, shocking the comedian before returning to his seat.

Viewers in the UK and other countries then heard Smith yell at Rock several times to, "Keep my wife's name out of your f***ing mouth", while the US broadcaster cut the audio.

The I Am Legend actor has since issued an apology to Rock, admitting he was "embarrassed" by his actions and stating that "Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive".

Watch: Academy Governor Whoopi Goldberg doesn't expect Will Smith to be stripped of Oscar following Chris Rock slap