Ben Shephard has said that watching the moment Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars ‘still triggers him in some way’.
On Sunday evening at the Academy Awards, Smith struck Rock live on stage after the comedian made a quip about Jada Pinkett Smith’s short haircut, apparently unaware that she has alopecia.
While Smith has since issued a public apology, the Academy has launched a formal investigation into the incident, stating in a recent statement that the actor ‘was asked to leave’ the awards ceremony but ‘refused’.
On Thursday’s edition of Good Morning Britain, Shephard, Susanna Reid and their guests discussed the scenes that unfolded, with Oscars co-host Amy Schumer saying afterwards in since-deleted comments that she felt ‘traumatised’.
‘I watch it and it still triggers me in some way,’ Shephard said.
He continued, stating: ‘Just in terms of trying to understand what happened. There were young people, there were young actors like Jude Hill from Belfast, 11-year-old, was in the audience. There were children in the audience.’
When one of the guests on the programme quipped that it was ‘past the young actor’s bedtime’, Shephard responded: ‘Yes, but he was part of a nominated film, that’s why he was there.’
Reid then brought up Sonic star Jim Carrey’s recent comments on the issue, who said that he felt ‘sickened’ to witness the audience give Smith a standing ovation when he won his best actor gong for King Richard.
In a post shared on Instagram that has since been deleted, Schumer wrote: ‘Still triggered and traumatized,’ before adding that ‘the whole thing was so disturbing’.
‘Waiting for this sickening feeling to go away from what we all witnessed,’ she added.
During a stand-up gig in Boston, Rock broke his silence on the slap for the first time.
The comedian said that he didn’t have a ‘bunch’ of things to say about what occurred, ‘so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend’.
‘I’m still kind of processing what happened,’ he added.
In a statement released by the Academy, the organisation said that ‘things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated’.
‘While we would like to clarify that Mr Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, we also recognise we could have handled the situation differently,’ the statement read.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays from 6am on ITV.