Following the arrival of his new HBO special The Headliners, Marlon Wayans suggested Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars put his “wife’s name in everybody’s mouth.”
In an interview with Big Boy, Wayans shared what he told the actor following the incident, and suggested it only invited more attention on Jada Pinkett Smith. Asked for his thoughts on what this could mean for comedians as a whole, Wayans suggested people in their “right mind” won’t feel emboldened to assault comics simply because of the Oscars slap.
“If somebody’s walking up on my stage, I know that you ain’t coming up to give me five,” he explained at the 19:30 mark of the video above. “Like, at a point, you gotta go, ‘Oh yeah he’s trying to come harm me.’ … You gotta protect yourself. If it that was me, I got an elbow for you. It’s a fight, you come on my stage we fighting. … We do jokes, that’s what we do. You don’t go to a comedy show and be mad when they tell you jokes, that’s what you there for. I think people in they right mind know better, I don’t think people gonna go, ‘I’m gonna get up and slap you.’”
After explaining the one time he had someone threaten to fight him after he told a joke, Wayans said that he initially thought the slap was fake. “I thought someone put something in my weed,” he said at the 22:00 mark. “I think the pressure of 30 years of being excellent, that’s hard to do. That man just snapped. You gotta check on your strong friends. … Something was wrong for him to snap, and forget about what he’s been working towards for 30 years.”
Sometime after the slap, Wayans said that he hit Smith up to give him some advice. “I was like, ‘Hey brother you may want to go get you about three hours of therapy,’” he said. “15 hours this week, you need to sit down with a therapist and have a long talk. Something is going on with you.’ And that wasn’t him. See, I don’t have that kind of pressure. He’s been Black excellence for 30 years, I’ve been Black alrightness, ain’t too much pressure. … People expect me to do dumb stuff, but him? Nah, not Will.”
He also hit up Rock after the incident, too, and said he wanted to make sure he was okay. “I talk about it a little bit in my set. I’m not gonna go all the way there, but I think that by trying to take your name out of one person’s mouth, now you put your wife’s name in everybody’s mouth. … Comedians are terrorists… [Now] everybody got a Will Smith-Chris Rock, you know, Jada joke,” he said.
Earlier this week, Wayans stopped by for a Sway’s Universe interview in which he said actors should expect to be roasted at the Oscars. “It is a part of the Oscars for 94 years,” he said at the 23:00 mark of the video below. “They gonna roast you and toast you, then give you a gold statue and a great drunk evening. But you can’t get mad at somebody for cracking a joke. … Chris is from Brooklyn, I’m surprised the n***a didn’t pull out and shoot him. I know Chris got an outie belly button.”
This isn’t Wayans first time addressing the slap, as he gave his thoughts in a Breakfast Club interview last week. The comedian and actor said the two are both friends of his, so it was “hard” to see the situation play out the way it did. “You can’t hit Chris over a joke. That’s Chris. Chris cracks jokes, that’s what he does and he too small," said Wayans. "You play action movies, I Am Legend, you doing behind-the-back pushups, pull ups, and lifting weights. Chris plays crackheads. The heaviest thing this n***a ever lifted was a crack pipe in New Jack City. Why would you hit little Chris Rock?”