Interviewed by the Palm Beach Daily News ahead of a standup comedy performance, Leno discussed the rage underlying Smith's actions.
"To me, the thing that's most disturbing wasn't the slap, because he was kind of smirking after he slapped (Rock)," Leno said. "It was the yelling of the obscenities. Then you go, 'Whoa. What's going on here?' This is real anger."
Leno also offered his opinion on the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announcing Smith was banned from the Oscars for 10 years, and the Academy's plans to launch an investigation into the incident.
Oscars 2022: The Best Parties, From Start to Finish (Photos)
Academy Awards Week began with a celebration of Black women's achievements in Hollywood and crescendoed with "The Slap Heard Round the World" as one Black man sucker slapped another during the broadcast and women lost ground in the never-ending battle for equality (and in fighting our own battles, as well). There were some strides, as "CODA," a female-directed-and-written film took Best Picture and Jane Campion snagged Best Director (the third woman in 94 years) for "The Power of the Dog," but the talk of every after-party on Sunday night wasn't celebrating those achievements; instead, every conversation was about the two famous men and the one famo
"What are you investigating?" Leno said.
"It had to be the most recorded assault in history," he explained. "I saw the back of his shoe, I saw Chris' ear. There were so many cameras on this incident. What are you investigating? I know sometimes things are just what they appear to be."
Jay Leno On Will Smith Oscars Incident: “The Thing That’s Most Disturbing Wasn’t The Slap” .
Comedian and former Tonight Show host Jay Leno weighed in on Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars last month. Leno, who called Smith a “good guy,” said that the most shocking moment to him came after the slap. “To me, the thing that’s most disturbing wasn’t the slap, because he was kind of smirking after he slapped [Rock],” Leno told the Palm Beach Daily News this week. “It was the yelling of the obscenities. Then you go, ‘Whoa. What’s going on here? This is real anger.