Sean Penn Calls Will Smith's Oscar Slap "His Worst Moment As A Person"

At this point, we’re almost two years removed from Will Smith‘s infamous on-stage slap of host Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars ceremony. So why is Sean Penn still talking about it? Well, it’s partially to drum up hype for his upcoming doc about Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who wasn’t allowed to speak about Russian’s invasion of his country at the Academy Awards that year. But it’s also because Smith assaulted another man in public and essentially got away with it, legally speaking, while Penn went to jail in 1987 for punching an extra on the set of “Colors.” Does that add up in Penn’s mind? Absolutely not.

READ MORE: Will Smith Has Reportedly “Tried Unsuccessfully To Make Amends” With Chris Rock Over The Oscars Slap

The actor voiced his views on Smith’s behavior in a new interview with Variety. “I don’t know Will Smith. I met him once. He seemed very nice when I met him. He was so fucking good in “King Richard.” [Smith won Best Actor Oscar for the film shortly after he assaulted Rock] So why the f*ck did you just spit on yourself and everybody else with this stupid f*cking thing? Why did I go to f*cking jail for what you just did? And you’re still sitting there? Why are you guys standing and applauding his worst moment as a person?”

Penn also noted that Smith likely wouldn’t have slapped Rock onstage if Ukraine’s President had been in the room that night. “This f*cking bullshit wouldn’t have happened with Zelensky,” the actor continued. “Will Smith would never have left that chair to be part of stupid violence. It never would have happened.” As noted earlier, Zelensky reached out to the Academy for a chance to speak about the Russian invasion and the ceremony and was denied. Penn thinks that was a major mistake. “The Oscars producer thought, ‘Oh, he’s not light-hearted enough,’ Penn chided. “Well, guess what you got instead? Will Smith!”

Penn started work on “Superpower,” his documentary about Zelensky, well before Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. Zelensky’s career shift from a comedian to political leader was an interesting enough story for Penn, but the emergent conflict between the two countries dramatically shifted the film’s focus. Penn was surprised that Zelensky kept his interview appointments with him amid all of the violence and turmoil. “It blew my mind he kept the meeting,” Penn said “There were Chechen kill squads in the streets already.”

And Penn also got to witness firsthand Zelensky’s transformation the day of Russia’s invasion. “His brain is fully oxygenated. His eyes are clear and he’s warm,” Penn said of Zelensky. “I knew I’m either going to feel nothing or I’m going to let myself love him… I saw a very big change in him from one day to the next. At that moment, he was the significant target. But he wasn’t going anywhere. That day, he found out that he was born for this.” As for Smith, it’s clear that Sean Penn doesn’t love him like he does Zelensky. The actor remains in the career doghouse thanks to his actions. Will an upcoming Bad Boys” sequel change Smith’s fortunes? Stay tuned on that.

And also stay tuned on when Penn’s “Superpower” gets an official theatrical release.