It’s been more than a week since Will Smith’s onstage slap of Chris Rock at the Oscars, but his previous collaborators are still being forced to comment about the incident. In an interview with Yahoo, Bad Boys and Bad Boys II director Michael Bay was asked to weigh in and flatly refused to take the bait, saying, “I don’t really care.”
After admitting he didn’t watch the Oscars but saw Smith’s assault on Rock after receiving a deluge of texts, Bay said Smith’s actions were “wrong to begin with” before stating, “I don’t really care. Hollywood gets very self-absorbed. There are babies getting blown up in the Ukraine right now. We should be talking about that. I really don’t care.”
Bay added that, like many other people, he initially thought it was staged. “I’ve worked with him. He’s not that guy. I’ve never seen him lose his cool like that,” Bay explained. “I thought it was a setup because I saw his smirk. I’ve been on set when Will has screwed with people and joked with people. It was a slap. Not a punch. He’s very good at fighting, he’s trained at that. It’s wrong to begin with. Then I knew the yell [meant] he was mad.”
Smith and Bay’s Bad Boys movies grossed more than $400 million worldwide without adjustment for inflation. The most recent installment, Bad Boys for Life, was directed by Adil El Arbi and Bilall Fallah, with Bay appearing in a cameo role. Production on Bad Boys 4 has been slowed down in the wake of Smith’s attack.
Following the physical outburst, Smith apologized during his Best Actor acceptance speech and then in a statement issued the day after the Oscars. More recently, he resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, saying he would “accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate.”
Regarding the slap, Rock himself said he’s “still kind of processing what happened,” while hosts Amy Schumer and Wanda Sykes both said that they felt “traumatized.” Denzel Washington, who consoled Smith afterward, said the following: “Who are we to condemn? I don’t know all the ins and outs of this situation, but I know the only solution was prayer.”
Other celebrities who weren’t even there — like Jim Carrey or Alec Baldwin — have given their opinions, but Daniel Radcliffe put it best: “I’m just so already dramatically bored of hearing people’s opinions about it.”
Bay was asked about the slap while promoting his upcoming action flick Ambulance starring Jake Gyllenhaal. The movie opens in theaters nationwide on April 8th.
Here's Bad Boys director Michael Bay on the Will Smith slap:
"I don't really care… There are babies getting blown up in Ukraine right now. We should be talking about that." pic.twitter.com/OZgKipQQ2L
— Kevin Polowy (@djkevlar) April 4, 2022