US comedian Jimmy Kimmel praises his colleague Chris Rock for his reaction to Will Smith's slap at the Oscars last year. "I mean, getting a slap in the face and staying so cool is something Chris should be proud of," the 55-year-old told People on Thursday (local time).
Kimmel will present this year's Academy Awards on March 12th. "I hope Chris' grandkids will still be proud of him when he's dead," the entertainer continued. Of the slap itself, Kimmel said, "I think it's something that everyone regrets and that we're going to put behind us."
At last year's Oscars, Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage after he made a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Rock seemed a little taken aback by the incident, but quickly recovered and quipped, "It was the greatest night in television history."
Smith later apologized. He was banned from film academy events, including Academy Awards, for ten years. On Wednesday, the US actor and Oscar winner appeared on the stage of an award gala for the first time. At the African American Film Critics Association Awards in Los Angeles, Smith shared an award with director Antoine Fuqua for the film Emancipation.