Back in 1987, Sean Penn was sentenced to 60 days in county jail for hitting an extra on a movie set
In a new interview with Variety, Penn, 63, called out Smith, 54, over the moment he walked onstage at the Academy Awards in March 2022 and slapped Rock, 58. Smith went on to win Best Actor that night for King Richard, delivering an emotional speech. Following the show, Smith attended afterparties celebrating the win.
“I don’t know Will Smith. I met him once. He seemed very nice when I met him. He was so f---ing good in King Richard," Penn prefaced his comments to Variety.
He continued, "So why the f--- did you just spit on yourself and everybody else with this stupid f---ing thing? Why did I go to f---ing jail for what you just did? And you’re still sitting there? Why are you guys standing and applauding his worst moment as a person?"
When he was 26 years old in 1987, Penn was sentenced to 60 days in county jail after punching and spitting on an extra on the set of the movie Colors, the Los Angeles Times reported at the time. He served 33 days of the sentence.
The actor has had multiple other instances of being charged in altercations, including in 2010 when he was sentenced to three years of probation and 300 hours of community service after attacking a photographer, per the LA Times.
Smith has since apologized for his Oscars outburst and resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which banned him from attending its events for 10 years.
He said in a video message last year, "My behavior was unacceptable," and added that he is "trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself."
"I'm human. I made a mistake and I'm trying not to think of myself as a piece of s---," said Smith at the time.
Will Packer, the producer of the 2022 Oscars, previously revealed in a Good Morning America interview that police officers were prepared to arrest Smith at the event if Rock had wanted to press charges.
"They were saying, 'This is battery' — the word they used in that moment. They said, 'We will go get him. We are prepared to get him right now, you can press charges. We can arrest him.' They were laying out the options," Packer said at the time. In the end, Rock declined to press charges.
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Penn directed a new documentary about Ukraine’s fight against Russia. He told Variety he took issue with the Oscars not allowing space for Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to share a message during the ceremony like other award shows did at the time.
"The Oscars producer thought, ‘Oh, he’s not light-hearted enough.’ Well, guess what you got instead? Will Smith!” said Penn. He added, “This f---ing b---s--- wouldn’t have happened with Zelenskyy. Will Smith would never have left that chair to be part of stupid violence. It never would have happened."
Penn also shared why he gifted his Oscar statuette to Zelenskyy in November. (He won Best Actor for Mystic River in 2004 and for Milk in 2009.)
"I thought, well, f---, you know? I’ll give them to Ukraine. They can be melted down to bullets they can shoot at the Russians," he said.
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