Jim Carrey says Will Smith cracked under pressure: 'It was more than just an insult to someone’s wife'

·Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment
·3 min read

Everyone is entitled to their opinion about "The Slap," Will Smith's Oscars Sunday assault on presenter Chris Rock after the comedian cracked a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head. And from the looks of social media these past few days, just about everyone has shared one.

There are a very small number of people in this world, however, who can relate to Smith as also being a $20 million-per-project movie star. Jim Carrey is one of them.

Jim Carrey and Will Smith during Nickelodeon's 16th Annual Kids' Choice Awards 2003 - Backstage at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, CA, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)
Jim Carrey and Will Smith during Nickelodeon's 16th Annual Kids' Choice Awards 2003 - Backstage at Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, CA, United States. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

After making headlines Tuesday morning when he told CBS Mornings co-host Gayle King he was "sickened" by the standing ovation Smith received winning the Best Actor Oscar just 45 minutes after slapping Rock, calling it a "selfish moment" by Smith, Carrey took a more measured tone in an interview with the Associated Press.

"I see it as a larger issue, and it's an issue of the boundaries being broken – boundaries and allowances and permissiveness to certain behaviors," Carrey told the AP while promoting his new sequel Sonic the Hedgehog 2. "The fact is that license is being given to people to act out violently when they don't like what they hear. And it just shouldn't be."

That's when Carrey related to Smith, sounding emotional as he noted the pressures they face as celebrities in America.

"I also think that people not unlike Will, or myself, we live in a lot of pressure. We set up a lot of pressure for ourselves, [and] we're encouraged by this country to never stop and never be satisfied and never look at our lives and going, 'You know what? I'm enough. I have enough. I've done enough. I don't need nine businesses. I don't need to be a movie producer, director, writer, actor, star and have a record company, and be on TikTok, and be on social media, and have a reality show and share my inner-most life on some therapy show.'

"It's beyond our bandwidth. And we're starting to see the symptoms of what it's like to be living beyond your bandwidth and cracking under the pressure. That's what that was. It was more than just an insult to someone's wife. Jada's a tough girl. She can defend herself. She wasn't being physically attacked. What that was was someone who was beyond the bandwidth, and he thought more about how he was looking in that moment than what was the right thing to do.

"I don't condemn him for it. It's just wrong."

Smith, who apologized to Rock late Monday, may still stiff penalty for his outburst. The Academy has launched a formal investigation into the incident, and on Wednesday, revealed in a statement that Smith was asked to leave the ceremony but refused.

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