George Lopez weighs in on the drama surrounding Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars.
Lopez – who is believed to be an Academy member – told PEOPLE the incident was like “deciding which parent you want to live with”.
The comedian and actor added that he was “staying with my dad and Chris Rock.”
Lopez, 60, has been a longtime friend of Rock, 57, and opened up about the support he receives, saying, “He has a lot of great friends.”
Opinion: Academy member George Lopez says Will Smith and Chris Rock slapping drama is ‘like deciding which parent you want to live with’
“I think what Wanda Sykes said about [The Ellen DeGeneres Show] was very, very powerful. They have been friends for a long time and a comedian never really wants to show his vulnerability,” he said.
“And I could say in Wanda, it affected her deeply that one of her best friends got hit like that.”
He was also asked about the current state of comedy in light of the incident, to which Lopez replied, “Well, nobody’s been able to pull a joke in the last five or six years.”
Will Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars on Sunday after the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith. On Monday, Smith apologized
According to the report, Lopez is a “member of the Academy” of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
On Thursday, it was reported that Smith, 53, had not been asked to leave by the Academy despite conflicting reports.
Yesterday Oscars co-host Wanda Sykes slammed the Academy, calling their actions ‘rude’ for allowing Smith to stay in the theater on Sunday night after slapping Rock, a display which she says the made him feel “physically ill”.
“It was sickening,” Sykes said in a TV interview on Ellen. “I felt physically ill and I’m still a bit traumatized by it.”
Support: The comedian and actor added that he was ‘staying with my dad and Chris Rock’ (pictured together in 2009)
Smith stunned the Dolby Theater audience and millions of viewers at Sunday night’s Oscars when he took the stage and slapped Rock after the comedian made a bald joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who spoke publicly about losing his hair to alopecia.
When Smith returned to his seat, the “King Richard” star yelled at Rock, “Keep my wife’s name out of your (expletive) mouth.”
Less than an hour later, Smith won Best Actor for his portrayal of Richard Williams, father of tennis legends Serena and Venus.
Sykes told Ellen she was returning to the theater from her trailer when the slap occurred. She said ‘when I got backstage at the monitor, I just saw Will leaving the stage, and everything was quiet. And I was like, ‘What happened, what happened?!’”
Sykes added that when she saw the replay of the video, she said it made her sick. And said she was shocked when Smith was allowed to stay in the theater to accept her Oscar and enjoy the rest of the show.
After punching Rock, a now visibly furious Smith returned to his seat and began shouting repeatedly, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.” Lupita Nyong’o’ was among those left baffled by what happened, with many initially thinking such an outrageous act should be part of the show.
Smith sobbed as he accepted his Best Actor award and apologized for the violence – but didn’t say sorry to Chris Rock
Sykes told Ellen during the interview that Smith should have been kicked out of the building immediately after slapping Rock.
“For them to let him stay in that room and enjoy the rest of the show and accept his price…. I was like, ‘How gross is that?’ she says.
“It’s just the wrong message. You assault someone, you get escorted out of the building, and that’s it.
“But for them to let it continue, I thought it was disgusting. I wanted to be able to run away after his victory and say, “Unfortunately, Will couldn’t be here tonight…”