The View host – who returned to the show last month after being suspended for her controversial Holocaust comments – believes Smith ‘overreacted’ when he hit out at Rock (literally) for making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith.
The comedian remarked how he ‘can’t wait for GI Jane 2,’ in reference to Pinket-Smith’s short hair, which she previously shaved after struggling with alopecia since 2018.
However, amid speculation that Smith could have his best actor award revoked – which he won for his performance in King Richard – Goldberg says he should be allowed to keep it.
Speaking on the ABC talk show after one of the most dramatic moments in Oscars history, she noted that the couple have been on the receiving end of jibes from Rock in the past, so Smith’s actions were ‘a lot of stuff probably built up.’
‘I think he overreacted. I think he had one of those moments where it was like, just stop. I get it, not everybody acts the way we would like them to act under pressure. And he snapped,’ she said.
Whoopi Goldberg believes Will Smith should get to keep his Oscar (Picture: ABC)
‘Sometimes you get to a point when you behave badly. I myself have behaved badly on occasion.’
On how Rock laughed off the slap and swiftly moved to carry on with presenting the awards, Goldberg added: ‘I do think it’s wonderful that Chris did not take it to that other place that he could have done.’
After the ceremony, the Academy issued a statement saying it ‘does not condone violence,’ to which Goldberg responded: ‘There will be consequences I’m sure, but I don’t think that’s what they’re going to do, particularly because Chris said “Listen, I’m not pressing any charges”.’
The couple have been on the receiving end of jokes from Rock before (Picture: FilmMagic)
Other panellists on The View also offered their take on the incident, with Joy Behar commenting that ‘comedians are in danger everywhere.’
Meanwhile, Sunny Hostin said she was ’embarrassed’ for Smith and ‘horrified’ for Rock.
‘I thought Chris was the one who deserved an apology. I think Will was immature, I think he was childish and he was violent. That’s something we tell our children not to do, our children would be suspended from school for that,’ she said.
Despite a mixed reaction from celebrities and Oscars viewers alike, the night ended on a high for Smith as he took home his first Academy Award.
Delivering a tearful acceptance after being recognised for his performance of Richard Williams, he said that ‘love will make you do crazy things’ before joking that he hopes to be ‘invited back’ next year.
Oscars 2022 winners
Actress in a Leading Role
Jessica Chastain – The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Actor in a Leading Role
Will Smith – King Richard
Actress in a Supporting Role
Ariana DeBose – West Side Story
Actor in a Supporting Role
Troy Kotsur – Coda
Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog
Music (Original Song)
No Time To Die from No Time to Die – Billie Eilish and Finneas O’Connell
Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)
Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
CODA – Siân Heder
Writing (Original Screenplay)
Belfast – Sir Kenneth Branagh
Cruella – Jenny Beavan
International Feature Film
Drive My Car (Japan)
Animated Feature Film
Dune – Paul Lambert, Tristan Myles, Brian Connor and Gerd Nefzer
Dune – Greig Fraser
Makeup and Hairstyling
The Eyes of Tammy Faye – Linda Dowds, Stephanie Ingram and Justin Raleigh
Dune – Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Zsuzsanna Sipos
Dune – Joe Walker
Music (Original Score)
Dune – Hans Zimmer
Live Action Short Film
The Long Goodbye – Aneil Karia and Riz Ahmed
Animated Short Film
The Windshield Wiper – Alberto Mielgo and Leo Sanchez
Documentary Short Subject
The Queen of Basketball – Ben Proudfoot
Dune – Mac Ruth, Mark Mangini, Theo Green, Doug Hemphill and Ron Bartlett