Jim Carrey calls Hollywood “spineless” for putting up with Will Smith’s slap

“I would have sued him for $200 million,” he said.

WESTWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 12:  Jim Carrey attends the LA Special Screening Of Paramount's "Sonic The H...
Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
ByJayson Buford

Jim Carrey did not mince words when discussing Will Smith’s slapping Chris Rock on stage at Sunday’s 94th Academy Awards. “I was sickened by the standing ovation,” Carrey said to Gayle King on CBS Mornings during a visit to promote his upcoming film Sonic The Hedgehog 2. “Hollywood is just spineless en masse and it really felt like this is a really clear indication that we aren’t in the cool club anymore.”

When King pointed out others’ stance that anyone else would have been escorted out of the ceremony or gotten arrested for doing with Smith did, Carrey said “he should have.” While Rock has reportedly refused to press charges, Carrey said that he would have sued Smith for $200 million. “That video is going to be there forever, it’s going to be ubiquitous,” Carrey said. “That insult is going to last a very long time.”

White comedians such as Judd Apatow, Kathy Griffin, and Tom Segura have come out in bunches to defend Chris Rock and criticize Will Smith, some of them implying that Smith’s actions speak to a continued lack of respect and intolerance toward comics in light of cancel culture. Black comedians and actors such as Tiffany Haddish, however, have either joked about the incident have supported Smith for what they see as justified defense of his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

For what it’s worth, Carrey implied that “if you want to yell from the audience and show disapproval or say something on Twitter,” it would be less of an offense. But he persisted, “you do not have the right to walk up on stage and smack somebody in the face ‘cause they said words.” As King suggested that the incident “escalated,” Carrey cut her off and said, “it didn’t escalate. It came out of nowhere because Smith has something going on inside of him that’s frustrated. I wish him the best, I don’t have anything against Will Smith. ... But that was not a good moment.”

Smith has since apologized, while the Academy has launched a formal review into the incident.