Following Will Smith’s infamous Oscars slap, many celebrities shared their thoughts on the incident, with more than a few criticizing the actor for his shocking actions against Chris Rock.
However, his longtime friend and former musical partner, DJ Jazzy Jeff, is taking the other side as he recently defended Smith in his comments about the incident.
Jeff said he witnessed more than a few times when Smith should’ve legitimately “smacked the s**t” out of someone but held himself back.
DJ Jazzy Jeff comments about Will Smith’s slap
Jeffrey Allen Townes, best known as DJ Jazzy Jeff, worked alongside Will Smith as part of the pioneering rap duo DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince. Not only did they create memorable music together, but Jeff also joined Smith on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as a recurring character.
While Jeff wasn’t at the Academy Awards to see the Will Smith and Chris Rock incident, he still became aware of it as many people around the globe did. The 57-year-old hip-hop icon was recently on Dorian’s Through The Record Shop in Chicago and defended Will Smith’s slap when speaking with host Kyle Santillian.
According to Atlanta Black Star, Jazzy Jeff referred to it as a “lapse of judgment” on Smith’s part, adding, “I don’t know too many people that has had the least amount of lapse of judgment than him.”
“I can name 50 times where he should’ve smacked the s**t outta somebody, and he didn’t,” Jeff said, adding, “So for him to have a lapse of judgment, he’s human. I think a lot of the criticism comes from the people who don’t think people that that are human.”
Jazzy Jeff captured two Grammys with Smith in their early years, including Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance in 1989 for Parents Just Don’t Understand and another for their most successful song, Summertime, in 1992.
Smith eventually branched out on a solo music career, but the duo reunited in 2017 for music festivals in Blackpool and Croatia.
Smith resigned from Academy, banned from attending events
Following Smith’s slap at the Oscars, the actor returned to his seat and yelled at Rock to leave his wife’s name out of his mouth several times.
Smith had others around who were there to calm him down and comfort him following the incident. That included Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry.
“Fortunately, there were people there. Not just me, but others. Tyler Perry came immediately right over there with me. [Said] some prayers.” He added, “I don’t wanna say what we talked about, but for the grace of God go any of us. Who are we to condemn?” Washington told Variety following the event.
Smith issued a teary-eyed apology to many people, including the Academy, after winning Best Actor at the Oscars. A day later, he posted a statement on social media that included an apology to Chris Rock.
The 53-year-old Smith resigned from the Academy for his actions, a move that the Academy accepted afterward. Soon after, they also revealed that Smith was banned from attending Academy events for ten years.
“I accept and respect the Academy’s decision,” Smith said regarding the ban.