The infamous Oscars slap is still as fresh as the first time it happened during the 94th Academy Awards in 2022, at least for actor Sean Penn who remains furious about the incident. Fans would recall how comedian star Will Smith smacked Chris Rock live on stage after the host made inappropriate remarks about Jada Pinkett Smith.
Although Smith has publicly apologized and ultimately returned to the screen after a long hiatus, many people still have not moved on from the issue. Now, what’s Sean Penn got to do with the Oscars slap? Well, he claims that his pal could have saved Chris Rock from public humiliation.
Sean Penn Believes The Ukrainian President Could Have Prevented The Oscars Slap
In an interview with Variety, The Gunman actor Sean Penn recalls how the Academy Awards refused to invite his friend, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, to give a speech at the 2022 Oscars event. He claimed:
“The Oscars producer thought, ‘Oh, he’s not light-hearted enough.’ Well, guess what you got instead? Will Smith!”
Penn admitted he does not personally know Will Smith, but he praised the actor’s work on King Richard which won him a Best Actor award at the same event where he slapped Chris Rock. The Fair Game star continued:
“I don’t know Will Smith. I met him once. He seemed very nice when I met him. He was so f—king good in ‘King Richard.’ So why the f—k did you just spit on yourself and everybody else with this stupid f—king thing? Why did I go to f—king jail for what you just did? And you’re still sitting there? Why are you guys standing and applauding his worst moment as a person?”
At this point, Penn was already turning crimson with rage. Still, he conducted himself to further blame the Academy for refusing to have Zelenskyy. The actor deduced that things would have turned out differently had they listened to him:
“This f—king bullshit wouldn’t have happened with Zelenskyy. Will Smith would never have left that chair to be part of stupid violence. It never would have happened. I thought, well, f—k, you know? I’ll give them to Ukraine. They can be melted down to bullets they can shoot at the Russians.”
Fans would recall how Penn notably gifted one of his Oscar statuettes to the Ukrainian president as a token of his support for the country.
Sean Penn Met With President Zelenskyy Amid War In Ukraine
In the same interview with Variety, Sean Penn confessed he was surprised to know that amid the violence that has erupted in Ukraine, President Zelenskyy still made time for their meeting. The actor said:
“It blew my mind he kept the meeting. There were Chechen kill squads in the streets already. His brain is fully oxygenated. His eyes are clear and he’s warm. I knew I’m either going to feel nothing or I’m going to let myself love him.”
Penn decided to feature his friend as the subject of his documentary Superpower. The film will include scenes where Zelenskyy was in Kyiv when the first Russian bombs were dropped on the city. The actor and his crew took seven trips to Ukraine to shoot the movie.
Superpower will premiere on September 18 on Paramount+.