Serena Williams' father, Richard, defends Will Smith over Oscars slap and says he doesn't feel sorry for Chris Rock: 'It's time for everyone to forgive Will Smith'
Richard Williams defended Will Smith for slapping Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards last year.
Williams told the UK TV show "Good Morning Britain" that he "didn't feel sorry" for Rock.
Williams, whom Smith portrayed in "King Richard," also said the actor's Oscars ban should be lifted.
In a new interview, Venus and Serena Williams' father, Richard, defended Will Smith for Smith's infamous Oscars slap.
Smith faced backlash after slapping Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Academy Awards ceremony last year. Smith slapped Rock after Rock made a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
On Monday, Richard Williams, whom Smith portrayed in the 2021 biopic "King Richard," told the UK TV show "Good Morning Britain" that he didn't see "anything wrong" with the slap.
"I'll always stand by him," Williams said. "I think he has done the best thing he needed to do, but I would never be disgusted with Mr. Smith. Matter of fact, I appreciate Mr. Smith."
The retired tennis coach added that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences should lift its 10-year ban against Smith, who won an Oscar the night of the slap for his performance as Williams.
"It should be just one day or no more than a week at the most," Williams added.
Williams said he "didn't feel sorry" for Rock and appeared to justify Smith's actions because of the comedian's joke about Smith's wife, who has alopecia.
"I'm 81 years old but when I was about 51 years or younger, I almost killed any damn one, so I think Mr. Smith done a great deal now," Williams said. "It's time for everyone to forgive Will Smith."
Williams' son, Chavoita LeSane, told NBC News last year that his father didn't "condone anyone hitting anyone else unless it's in self-defense."
Smith has issued several public apologies for his actions and resigned from the academy days before the ban was issued. While the "Emancipation" actor has not apologized directly to Rock, Smith said last year that he had reached out to the comedian.
Meanwhile, Rock has not released any formal statements but has used the incident as the basis of jokes in his comedy sets on a number of occasions since last year.
In his recent Netflix comedy special, "Selective Outrage," Rock made numerous comments about the slap, the Smiths' "Red Table Talk" interview about Pinkett Smith's affair, and his personal feud with Pinkett Smith.
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