Wanda Sykes opened up about the drama that surrounded the Oscars ceremony on Sunday night, telling Ellen DeGeneres that Chris Rock actually apologized to her for the altercation that Will Smith instigated.
The 58-year-old comedian, who co-hosted the show with Amy Schumer and Regina Hall, sat down for a chat with Ellen on Wednesday, telling her that Chris sought her out at an Oscars after-party to apologize, despite the fact that he played no part in the attack.
Wanda said Chris sought her out to apologize for the slap stealing her, Amy, and Regina’s thunder
Ellen wasted no time in addressing the controversial evening, asking Wanda almost immediately to share her thoughts about the attack after first praising the trio for doing a “great job.”
“For something to happen like what happened with Will and Chris, it takes away from so many things,” Ellen began, adding that “it took away from Questlove’s win on the documentary, it took away from the Williams family…”
Wanda revealed that Chris approached her later that night at a party and personally apologized to her, telling her that even though he wasn’t the one who instigated the assault he still felt badly that it took away from the work Amy, Wanda, and Regina had done to make the evening fun.
“That’s who Chris is,” Wanda told Ellen, who emphatically agreed, adding “Chris is a sweet guy.”
Wanda shared with Ellen details about the moment she found out what had happened while getting ready backstage
Ellen respectfully asked the comedian to share with the audience where she was at the time of the altercation.
Wanda told Ellen that she had been backstage working on getting into the pajamas she, Amy, and Regina were all supposed to wear for their next segment when she heard a commotion from the crowd and saw Will retreating from the stage.
“We had just introduced Chris, Regina and I had just introduced Chris, from our bit so I ran to my trailer because I wanted to watch him,” she said.
“…I was getting changed and watching him and then from the moment I went from the trailer, because I wanted to be in the house to watch, so from that moment to when I got to the monitor, um, backstage I just saw Will leaving the stage and everything was quiet and I’m like ‘what happened, what happened?'” Wanda told Ellen.
She said she remained confused until someone showed her the already-hot video clip of the backhanded strike and that’s when she said she “felt awful” for Chris.
Although there has been a large divide among Hollywood’s elite regarding the incident, Wanda appears to be in the same camp as Jim Carrey, who recently spoke out about the attack, calling his fellow celebs “spineless” for giving Will a standing ovation when he won Best Actor later in the evening.
“For them (the Academy) to let him stay in that room and enjoy the rest of the show and accept his award…I was like, how gross is this? This is just the wrong message, you know? You assault somebody you get escorted out the building and that’s it,” Wanda concluded.