Tennis icon Serena Williams spoke out on Wednesday in a conversation with CBS Mornings host Gayle King, addressing the infamous Oscars scandal that overshadowed the premiere of the biographical film, "King Richard," in which Will Smith played the role of her father.
The incident in question involved a physical altercation between Smith and Oscars host Chris Rock over a joke made at the expense of Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
I've Been There, I've Made a Mistake
In the interview, King brought up the event, asking Williams for her thoughts on the controversy, considering she was a producer for the film.
Williams began by discussing the film and how it was overshadowed by the altercation. "I thought it was such an incredible film, and I feel that there was an incredible film after that with Questlove that kind of was overshadowed," she said. "But I also feel that I've been in a position where I've been under a lot of pressure and I've made a tremendous amount of mistakes, and I’m the kind of person that’s like, 'I've been there.
I've made a mistake. It's not the end of the world.' "
"Let's Just Be Kind to Each Other"
The tennis champion ended by emphasizing the importance of kindness and compassion in moments of crisis. "We're all imperfect, and we're all human and let’s just be kind to each other.
That's often forgotten a lot," she said. This marks the first time that Williams has publicly addressed the Oscars controversy involving Will Smith. Rock made a joke about Pinkett Smith's bald head, apparently unaware that she has alopecia, causing an enraged Smith to storm the stage and slap Rock.
He then returned to his seat, shouting, "Keep my wife's name out of your f***ing mouth." The incident caused some confusion among attendees and viewers who were unsure if it was part of the show. Smith was not removed from the event and went on to win the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in "King Richard." He later issued a public apology for his behavior, calling it "unacceptable and inexcusable."