He has known both men for decades and says, “Sometimes when you’re best friends, worst things happen and I wish it didn’t happen.”
Hollywood has come out in droves to comment on Will Smith smacking Chris Rock at this past weekend’s Oscars, but not all commentary has come from people who know both men well. Marlon Wayans is a comedy veteran who has been involved in the entertainment industry for most of his life and he witnessed his longtime friends change the course of Academy Awards history over a joke.
Wayans, who has reportedly known his fellow comedian since he was 14 and the actor since he was 20, is hopeful that his longtime friends will be able to resolve this sooner than later. He told PEOPLE at the Vanity Fair Oscars party that he has nothing but love for Rock and Smith and described the latter as “a classic dude.”
“Chris Rock, he’s always Chris Rock; you’ve got to expect that from Chris Rock,” said Wayans. “And sometimes when you’re best friends, worst things happen and I wish it didn’t happen. … [I] hope they seek out and work it out.” He added, “You’ve got to be able to crack jokes. You don’t know what somebody’s going through … he cracked the wrong joke on the wrong day. And sometimes you hit the wrong person in the wrong moment. … It was just bad timing.”
“A room full of love in our community. We all respect each other as artists, as individuals, as Black men, as men in general, and this is not the way we conduct ourselves, fellas, and we get better. That’s all. You can have mistakes sometimes. Mistakes, that’s the best thing to have because moving forward we know that’s never going to happen again.”
“They definitely will [make amends], because from Chris there’s no beef at all, what’s in his heart. That was actually a light joke. Very light. So, I mean, obviously, Will’s going through something. Sometimes worst things happen on the best day, and this is one of those examples.”