Tiffany Haddish has nothing but love for Will Smith. At Sunday’s 94th annual Academy Awards, the 53-year-old actor abruptly took the stage and slapped Chris Rock on live television after he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith.
ET’s Lauren Zima spoke with 42-year-old Haddish at the Vanity Fair Oscars after-party, and she showed her support for Will and Jada, who was her co-star in Girls Trip.
The slap occurred after Rock made a joke about Jada’s appearance. “Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,” he said.
Jada has been open about her struggles with alopecia, an autoimmune disorder which causes bald spots and hair loss. Moments later, Will walked onto the stage and gave Rock an open-handed slap across the face. He then walked offstage and cursed at the comedian from his seat, yelling, “Leave my wife’s name out of your f**king mouth.”
Will went on to win the Best Actor Oscar for his leading role in King Richard.
“I would define tonight as a success,” Haddish told ET. “First of all, I have seen a man stand up for his wife, which we don’t see that much anymore. That made me have hope.”
Haddish added of her friend and former co-star, “They put her face clearly up on the screen, looked over at his wife. [Jada] was hurt.”
Haddish said she spoke with the couple following the incident and made her feelings known. “They know how I feel. That’s my friends. They know,” she shared with a smile.
Of Will’s big win following the slap, she added, “I felt very proud. I felt gratified, and I just hope more men are like that — care about their families. It’s not just about you, right? It’s not just about you, sir. What about your family? The people you create? The people that help you be who you are? That’s important. That’s what I think America forgot about.”
And to the critics of Will’s actions, Haddish had one message, “What you doing for your family? Who do you protect?”
The comedian also couldn’t resist teasing the couple about their post-show antics, saying, “I just know she better take care of business when they get home, ’cause I know I would if my man did that for me. I’m just saying. Hello!”