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The View stars defend Chris Rock ahead of Oscars addressing Will Smith slap

Will Smith will not attend this weekend's Academy Awards

the view oscars
Francesca Shillcock
Francesca ShillcockSenior TV & Film Writer
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The View stars appeared on Friday's episode to discuss this weekend's Academy Awards and the reports that the Oscars will humorously address the infamous moment Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage in 2022.

Hosts Joy Behar, Sunny Hostin, Alyssa Farah Griffin and Sara Haines were discussing whether the Academy should mention the moment in light of Chris Rock's Netflix special, Selective Outrage, which saw the stand-up comedian address the moment in public for the first time.

WATCH: Chris Rock references Will Smith slap in new Netflix special


The panelists were quick to defend Chris Rock's timing. Sunny began: "I don't think [the Oscars] should lean into it, I think they should mention it. I love what Margaret Cho our guest said the other day, she said that Chris waited an entire year to address it so it felt less retaliatory and more responsive."

Joy interjected: "I don't think Will thought it was easy on him," to which Sunny replied defending Chris, stating flatly: "Well he wasn't the one who got slapped."

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Will Smith slaps Chris Rock on stage at Oscars 2022© Photo: Getty Images

The Oscars will reference the slap at this year's ceremony

Sara Haines was quick to agree with Sunny, telling the audience: "I think that it was Chris Rock's moment to hold onto and process and he's responded really well, actually. And now I think the button is there. Let's let it go."

Sara also jumped to Will's defence, too, however: "The academy banned Will for ten years but I think that was the pendulum swinging too far, I don't think he needed ten years of never coming back, and that was the Academy's optics of looking like they had no plan in the first place."

The View hosts© Photo: Getty Images

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While Will is certain to not be in attendance at Sunday's ceremony, will Chris Rock be there?  

The comedian revealed he turned down the opportunity to host, but his attendance as a guest is less certain. According to The Daily Beast, Chris will not be making an appearance at Hollywood's biggest night. The outlet reported that the Grown Ups star is likely to stay on the east coast, far away from the ceremony in LA.

However, Chris has not confirmed this report himself. 

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