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Goldie Hawn says Will Smith slap is ‘indicative’ of how the Oscars have changed: ‘It used to be elegant’

The Hollywood legend, 77, called Will Smith's behavior at the 2022 Oscars "horrendous."
/ Source: TODAY

Goldie Hawn has been a Hollywood superstar for decades — and if she had it her way, the movie industry would be just as glamorous and fun as she thinks it once was.

The 77-year-acting legend opened up to Variety about how disappointed she's been while watching awards shows of late — namely, the Oscars.

“It used to be elegant,” Hawn said of the annual Academy Awards ceremony. “I’m not old-fashioned, but sometimes jokes are off-color. And I’m missing reverence. Things have become politicized. I want to see people in awe. I want to see people believing again. I want to see people laughing more in a way that isn’t just at someone else’s expense.”

Goldie Hawn
Goldie Hawn, seen here in November 2022, Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic

The "First Wives Club" star, who scored her own best supporting actress Oscar in 1970 for her performance in “Cactus Flower," said she was troubled when she witnessed Will Smith slap presenter Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars after Rock made a joke about Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith's hair.

To Hawn, the moment, which was televised live, was like a metaphor for many of the world's ills today.

“It’s indicative of our culture right now,” said Hawn. “I mean, you could look at it and say, ‘What the hell just happened?’ Somebody lost control. They lost their self-regulation. Their bigger brain wasn’t thinking, and they did something that was horrendous and also showed no remorse. That, to me, is a microcosm oftentimes of our world."

Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell
Hawn and longtime partner Kurt Russell at the 1989 Oscars.Barry King / WireImage

Hawn was impressed, however, with the restraint Rock showed after Smith hit him. The comedian made a quick joke about the surreal moment while Smith walked back to his seat, where he yelled at Rock about the joke.

"Chris was brilliant — totally held on to and controlled his emotions, was able to stand with dignity," said Hawn. "That’s an example of what we would like our world to look like. But, unfortunately, it isn’t right now.”

Smith, who was never removed from the awards show's audience, was allowed to give a speech when he won the best actor award for his performance in “King Richard,” and appeared to reference the slap. He later apologized.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences apologizing for "falling short" in its response, saying it was “unprepared” to handle the incident. Smith was banned from the Academy's events for 10 years, including the Oscars.

Hawn isn't the only one reflecting on Will Smith's 2022 behavior.

After nearly a year of staying mostly tight-lipped about the slap, Rock himself finally addressed the incident in his new Netflix comedy special, “Chris Rock: Selective Outrage,” last weekend.

“I got smacked at the f------ Oscars by this motherf---er, and people are like, ‘Did it hurt?’ It still hurts,” Rock told the audience. “I took that hit like Pacquiao.”

The comedian accused Smith of practicing “selective outrage,” suggesting that Smith was actually angry with his wife, who publicly spoke about the relationship she had with another man while she was with Smith, and not with him.

“Everybody who really knows, knows that I had nothing to do with that s---. I didn’t have any ‘entanglements,’” said Rock, referring to the term Pinkett Smith used to describe a relationship she said she’d had with another man while separated from Smith.

“She hurt him way more than he hurt me,” said Rock. “Everybody in the world called him a b----. I tried to call the motherf---er, I tried to call that man and give him my condolences, he didn’t pick up for me.

“Everybody called him a b----. And who does he hit? Me.”