Standing by his friends. Kevin HartIt is important to not pick sides when it comes down to Will Smith Chris RockFollowing their famous encounter at Oscars.
“I can only hope that the two of them find a way to find some solace in that and move past it. I love good energy. I love to see people be the best,” Hart, 43, told Entertainment TonightWednesday, July 13
The Philadelphia native noted that he has stayed on good terms with Smith, 53, and Rock, 57, adding, “I still love [Will], I still love Chris, and, you know, you can’t judge a person by one thing. Ultimately, life goes on and people grow, so give him the opportunity to do so.”
Hart believes there is room to reconcile as long as the following are met: Bel-Air’s Fresh PrinceThe fallout from the infamous slap is dealt with by an alum. “Will is apologetic, you know, he’s in a better space, of course, than what he was after,” the DC League of Super-Pets star continued. “People are human and as humans sometimes we make mistakes. So it’s not about talking about the past, it’s about acknowledging the present and doing your best to move forward.”
Earlier this year, Smith made headlines when he hit Rock on stage following the comedian’s joke about Jada Pinkett Smith‘s shaved head. “Will Smith just smacked the s—t out of me,” the South Carolina native said in censored footage that circulated online in March. As the Bad Boys actor returned to his seat, he was heard yelling at Rock to “keep my wife’s name out your f—king mouth.”
Smith, who was nominated to be recognized for his role in King Richard, used his acceptance speech as an opportunity to apologize. “Oh, man. Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” he said during the emotional speech. “I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people. I know that to do what you do, you have to be able take abuse. You must be able to make people rave about you. You have to be able and willing to let people disrespect you in this industry. And you got to smile, you got to pretend like that’s OK.”
He concluded: “I want to apologize to the academy. I apologize to all my fellow nominees. … Art imitates life: I look like the crazy father. Just like Richard Williams. But love can make you do crazy things. …Thank you for this moment. Also, Richard Williams and the entire Williams family would like to thank you. Thank you. I hope the academy invites me back.”
The Suicide SquadThe actor issued a second apology via social networking one day following the incident. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was wrong and I was out of line. I am embarrassed. My actions are not indicative the man I want. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness,” he wrote via Instagram.
In the lengthy message, Smith addressed his “unacceptable and inexcusable” actions toward the Madagascar actor. “I would also like to apologize to The Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world,” he continued. “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.”
After Smith’s resignation, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences confirmed that Smith would be expelled from all Oscars events for a period of 10 years.
Hart’s insight on the incident comes after he recently joked about it during a set. “Will Smith didn’t plan that s–t,” the Night School actor said during his Reality Check tour earlier this month, according to an eyewitness.
Rock, for his part, reflected on the moment during his comedy show. “Life is good. I got my hearing back,” he joked in April. “I’m OK, I have a whole show and I’m not talking about that until I get paid.”