Whoopi Goldberg Defends Crowds Standing Ovation For Will Smiths Oscar Win After Chris Rock Slap

‘The View’ moderator said that she gave ‘the benefit of the doubt’ for those who stood during Will Smith’s Oscar win, saying they probably gave the ovation before realizing what happened.

Whoopi Goldberg explained that she was understanding of people who stood during Will Smith’s Oscars acceptance speech during a discussion about the Academy’s statement, saying he was asked to leave after he slapped Chris Rock, on The View on Thursday March 31. “I think it was just people just got up and did dumb stuff, because they’re like, ‘Okay, everybody’s up.’ I give the benefit of the doubt, because I’ve been in these situations,” she explained.

Earlier in the conversation, Whoopi had said that everyone at the show must have been “stunned” just as any viewer was, and they probably were unsure of what to do with the situation. Given the standing ovation, guest co-host Tara Setmayer explained that by Will receiving a standing ovation, it further showed why some people consider “Hollywood elites” to be “hypocrites.” Whoopi again explained that you can’t hold everyone at fault for their reaction to the win. “I would not have stood up, but that has nothing to do with why people do,” she said

Whoopi then gave a demonstration on how quickly some people react, seeming to imply that many people were standing after seeing others do. Whoopi explained that “in the moment” many people likely stood “before you even know that you’ve done something stupid.”

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Whoopi clapped back at the term “Hollywood elites,” and explained how vast the number of people who work in the entertainment industry are. “I just want to stop with this elite stuff, because a lot of us work for a living. We work, we collect a check, we got families. We try to do the same thing, the good stuff that everybody else tries to do, and it really pisses me off, when people start to talk about people who work in Hollywood, not just actors, but all the other folks. So please, when you’re talking about actors, be specific. If you’re pissed off about somebody or how they act, don’t put it on all of us, because that’s like saying all Black people like chicken,” she said.

Joy Behar also reiterated her point by saying you can’t group all people in the entertainment industry together with a  callback to a previous “Hot Topic” discussion about congress. “You can’t paint the whole of Hollywood people with one brush anymore than you can say that all these congressmen are having an orgy,” she quipped.

After her heated response, Tara said that the standing ovation still felt ill-timed, and Whoopi asked a rhetorical question, before saying that she gave the benefit of the doubt. “Do you really think they were applauding him hitting Chris Rock?” she said, before the conversation pivoted to whether Will would’ve rushed the stage had it been a different person who told the joke.

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