Trevor Noah opens Grammys with Will Smith-Chris rock slap jokes

Trevor Noah opened the 64th annual Grammy Awards with a nod to Will Smith’s controversial slap in the face to Chris Rock during last Sunday’s Academy Awards. The Grammys came just a week after the Oscars when Smith took the stage and slapped Rock after the comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s baldness while presenting the documentary category.

“Don’t even consider that one Awards Ceremony,” Noah said of the ceremony. “It’s a concert where we give awards, we will listen to music dance, sing, hold people Names out of our mouths and we will give awards to people all night. So let’s get started right away.”

Both Smith and Rock discussed the incident themselves in the days after the Oscars. Smith apologized to Rock on March 28. The actor released a statement on social media, writing: “My behavior at the Oscars last night was unacceptable and inexcusable. … I want to apologize to you publicly, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I’m embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be.”

Rock waited until his March 30 stand-up comedy show in Boston to publicly address the slap, though the comedian mostly stayed away from speaking about the incident. Rock told the audience, “I don’t have much of a clue as to what happened, so if you wanted to hear that, I have a whole show that I wrote ahead of this weekend. I’m still processing what happened. So someday I’m gonna talk about this shit. And it’s going to be serious and fun.”

Since then, mixed reports have surfaced about how the Academy and Oscars producers should have dealt with the incident during the ceremony. The academy claimed they asked Smith to go, but the actor declined. However, sources said diversity that Smith was never officially asked to leave the event. Oscar producer Will Packer told Good Morning America that he asked the Academy not to “physically remove Smith from the premises” because that wasn’t what Rock wanted. Although the LAPD reportedly agreed to arrest Smith, Rock declined to press charges or file a report.

Smith announced on April 1 that he was retiring from the academy. He still faces “suspension, expulsion or other sanctions” from the academy, which condemned his post-Oscars violent actions. The Academy’s next board meeting is scheduled for April 18. Trevor Noah opens Grammys with Will Smith-Chris rock slap jokes

Charles Jones

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