Serena Weighs In on Oscars Slap on Dad's Big Night

The controversy overshadowed 'King Richard,' but she suggests it's time to forgive Will Smith
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2023 3:48 PM CST
Serena Suggests It's Time to Forgive Will Smith
Serena Williams in a photo from September 2022.   (AP Photo/Nathan Howard)

Serena Williams has a stronger connection than most to Will Smith's infamous slap of Chris Rock at the Oscars—she was in the audience that night because Smith played her father in the movie King Richard. In an interview with CBS Mornings on Thursday, the tennis great suggested it's time to cut Smith some slack. "We're all imperfect, and we're all human," she told Gayle King when asked about the night, per BuzzFeed. "I also feel that I've been in a position where I've been under a lot of pressure and made a tremendous amount of mistakes," she added. "I'm the kind of person that's like, I've been there, I've made a mistake, it's not the end of the world."

Still, Williams said she felt the controversy "overshadowed" not only the movie about her father—for which Smith would win an Oscar that night—but the documentary Summer of Soul by Questlove. Rock had been onstage to announce the documentary winner when he made a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, prompting the actor to charge the stage. "Let's just be kind to each other other," Williams said on CBS, per the AV Club. "That's often forgotten a lot." (More Serena Williams stories.)

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