New York City Comedians agree Will Smith crossed the line with attack on Chris Rock at the Oscars

New York City Comedians agree Will Smith crossed the line with attack on Chris Rock at the Oscars

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NEW YORK — Sunday night’s violence on stage at the Oscars is now being officially condemned by the Academy.

An investigation has also been launched into actor Will Smith hitting presenter Chris Rock in the face. Meanwhile, comedians in New York have their own thoughts on the subject, CBS2’s Aundrea Cline-Thomas reported Monday.

It was supposed to be the biggest night for the movie industry on television, but no one could have scripted Smith, who later won Best Actor for his role in “King Richard,” belting Rock after the comedian made a joke at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Will Smith clearly thought that Rock crossed the line about her hair-loss condition known as alopecia.

Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Chris Rock.

Getty Images

On Monday, the conversation turned to the serious and now-dangerous business of comedy. Cline-Thomas stopped by Stand Up New York to hear what owner Dani Zoldan and several comedians had to say.

“The club has been around for 36 years. I’ve never heard once of someone attacking the stage or attacking the comedian,” Zoldan said.

Zoldan said hecklers in clubs are not unexpected, but there’s never physical violence.

“Any comedy club in the world would have thrown the guy out and called the cops,” Zoldan said.

And that was the consensus among four other comics.

“You don’t attack a comedian for a joke that didn’t work,” Judy Gold said.

“He should have kissed Jada’s head and said this is my woman and I protect her. That would have had more of an impact,” Wali Collins said.

All agreed that Smith’s actions will now bring a new level of concern when they take the stage.

“I’ve always been aware. I’ll be more aware now because this is giving people a green light to do whatever they want to do,” Danny Suggs said.

“Who said, alopecia now? You can’t make jokes about alopecia now?” Periel Aschenbrand said.

Some even suggested they should have postponed giving out the award, but said it was the Oscars, after all.

“To get an award right after you assaulted someone, that’s Hollywood,” Zoldan said. 

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