“I don’t know if I would want to do it again,” Sykes admitted Tuesday. “It’s a huge job, and it took a lot of people to clean me up.”
In an appearance Tuesday morning on “Live with Kelly and Ryan,” veteran comedian Wanda Sykes reflected on serving as one of the three hosts of the 94th Academy Awards. “It was an amazing night, it really was,” Sykes said. “You know, it was just so much good vibes going on in the room, the movie ‘CODA’ was killing it, everyone was really happy.”
When asked by Ryan Seacrest if she would host again, her answer was definitive: “Oh, hell no.”
94th Annual Academy Awards co-host Wanda Sykes speaks onstage during the March 27 ceremonies at Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. (Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
“I mean, I shouldn’t say it like that,” Sykes added, according to the Los Angeles Times. “It was an amazing honor, and I think it’s something that you want to do, you do it once, and I don’t know if I would want to do it again. It’s a huge job, and it took a lot of people to clean me up.”
Sykes’ trepidation may have something to do with the March 27 awards show — which she co-helmed alongside fellow funnywomen Amy Schumer and Regina Hall — quickly devolving into chaos after actor Will Smith walked onstage and slapped presenter Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. The moment went down in infamy, causing Smith to resign from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences and to be banned from its events for a decade.
Seacrest also asked Sykes about her initial reaction to the incident.
“It was just like, what is happening?” she answered. “I couldn’t believe it, shocked. And then it was like, ‘OK, so everyone’s just going to sit here?’ The show just kept going. I’d look beyond the curtain, like, ‘He’s still sitting here?’”
Afterward, Smith went on to win his first Academy Award for best actor for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the determined father of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams, in “King Richard.”
In a March appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Sykes claimed she “physically felt ill” and was “still a little traumatized” by the assault on her friend Rock.
“And for [the academy] to let him stay in that room and enjoy the rest of the show and accept his award,” she told DeGeneres. “I was like, ‘How gross is this? This is just the wrong message.’”
“You assault somebody, you get escorted out the building. And that’s it, you know,” she said. “But for them to let him continue, I thought — I thought it was gross.”
The day after the Oscars, Smith released an apology, saying, in part, “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive.” His comments came in a statement issued by his publicist and posted on Instagram.
“My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable,” the statement said. “Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally. I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”
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