George Lopez is weighing in on the drama surrounding Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars, and comparing the situation to divorce.
Lopez – who is said to be a member of the Academy – told PEOPLE that the incident was like ‘deciding which parent you want to live with.’
The comedian and actor added that he is ‘staying with my dad and Chris Rock.’
Lopez, 60, has long been a friend of Rock, 57, and spoke about the support he’s been receiving, saying: ‘He’s got a lot of great friends.’
Opinion: Academy member George Lopez says Will Smith and Chris Rock slap drama is ‘like deciding which parent you want to live with’
Support: The comedian and actor added that he is ‘staying with my dad and Chris Rock’ (Pictured together in 2009)
Jackie Chan, Will Smith and George Lopez together in 2010 in Los Angeles
‘I think what Wanda Sykes said on [The Ellen DeGeneres Show] was very, very powerful. They’ve been friends for a long time, and a comedian never really wants to show their vulnerability,’ he said.
‘And I could tell that in Wanda, that it has affected her deeply that one of her best friends was struck like that.’
He was also asked about the current state of comedy in light of the incident, to which Lopez replied: ‘Well, nobody’s been able to take a joke for the last five or six years.’
Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars on Sunday, after the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith. On Monday, Smith apologized
According to the report, Lopez is a ‘member of the Academy’ of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
On Thursday, it was reported that Smith, 53, had not been asked to leave by the Academy contrary to conflicting reports.
Yesterday, Oscars co-host Wanda Sykes slammed the Academy, calling their actions ‘gross’ for allowing Smith to remain in the theater Sunday night after he slapped Rock, a display she said made her feel ‘physically ill.’
‘It was sickening,’ Sykes said in a televised interview on Ellen. ‘I felt physically ill and I’m still a little traumatized by it.’
Smith stunned the audience at Dolby Theater and millions of television viewers at Sunday night’s Oscars when he marched onto the stage and slapped Rock after the comedian made a bald joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who has spoken publicly about losing her hair due to alopecia.
When Smith returned to his seat, the ‘King Richard’ star yelled at Rock, ‘Keep my wife’s name out your (expletive) mouth.’
Less than an hour later, Smith won the Best Actor award for his portrayal of Richard Williams – father of tennis legends Serena and Venus.
Sykes told Ellen she was returning to the theater from her trailer when the slap happened. She said ‘when I got to the monitor backstage, I just saw Will leaving the stage, and everything was quiet. And I was like, ‘What happened, what happened?!'”
Sykes added that when she saw the video replay, she said it made her feel sick. And said she was shocked when Smith was allowed to stay in the theater to accept his Oscar and enjoy the rest of the show.
After smacking Rock, a now visibly fuming Smith returned to his seat and began repeatedly yelling: ‘Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth’. Lupita Nyong’o’ was among those baffled by what happened with many initially believing that an act so outrageous must be part of the show
Smith sobs as he accepted his best actor award, and apologized for the violence – but did not say sorry to Chris Rock
Sykes told Ellen during the interview that Smith should have been removed from the building immediately after he slapped Rock.
‘For them to let him stay in that room and enjoy the rest of the show and accept his award…. I was like, ‘How gross is this?’ she said.
‘This is just the wrong message. You assault somebody, you get escorted out of the building, and that’s it.
‘But for them to let him continue, I thought it was gross. I wanted to be able run out after he won and say, ‘Unfortunately, Will couldn’t be here tonight…’