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Oscars co-host Amy Schumer says she’s ‘still triggered and traumatised’ after Will Smith’s slap

Hollywood A-listers standing backstage at the Academy Awards were ‘gasping’ after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage Sunday night, ceremony attendees have confirmed.

The host of celebrities in the green room at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, including tennis stars Serena Williams and Venus Williams, were left in stunned disbelief as they watched Smith storm the stage during Rock’s award presentation and slap him. 

‘It went very quiet,’ a source who was in the green room during the incident told The Hollywood Reporter.

‘Everyone was like, ‘What the f**k is happening?! Did that just happen?! Oh my God!’ People were gasping,’ another insider alleged. 

The insiders also reported seeing Jake Gyllenhaal, Zoe Kravitz, Kevin Costner, Anthony Hopkins, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman and John Travolta backstage during the attack.  

Once the ceremony went to a commercial break, Academy Awards outgoing CEO Dawn Hudson and President David Rubin, along with the Oscars spokesperson, rushed backstage looking ‘as serious as could be’ and ‘walked very, very fast into a private room’ with Smith’s representative, Meredith O’Sullivan Wasson.

Sources said Hudson and Rubin never returned to the audience. Wasson reportedly spent several commercial breaks traveling between the backstage area and Smith’s seat, where she conferred with the actor. Jada Pinkett Smith, who was seen holding her husband’s hand, also allegedly consulted her own representatives during this time.

Rock skipped returning to the green room after presenting the award for best documentary feature.

The host of celebrities in the green room at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, including tennis stars Serena Williams and Venus Williams (pictured), were left stunned after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage during the Academy Awards Sunday night

As the chaos erupted onstage, Oscars producers and director Glenn Weiss made the decision to keep the live show going as it became obvious the slap was not a joke and a serious altercation had ensued. 

‘You started to realize this is real once Chris, who certainly knows the limits of broadcast standards, said, “Will Smith slapped the s**t out of me,”‘ ABC’s Rob Mills, who was in the production trailer at the time, told Variety. 

‘That’s when it became obvious that this was not a joke.’ 

Serena and Venus Williams (pictured) were backstage during the outburst. The insiders also reported seeing Jake Gyllenhaal, Zoe Kravitz, Kevin Costner, Anthony Hopkins, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman and John Travolta backstage

Serena and Venus Williams (pictured) were backstage during the outburst. The insiders also reported seeing Jake Gyllenhaal, Zoe Kravitz, Kevin Costner, Anthony Hopkins, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman and John Travolta backstage

The network’s censor dropped the audio from the broadcast for a lengthy period of time, leaving many American viewers in confusion. Mills alleged that often, in these types of situations, officials err on the side of caution.

‘When you’re on the button, which I wasn’t but our our standards people were, I think you obviously go towards overcorrection than letting something get through,’ he said. 

Mills claimed Rock’s joke, in which he compared Pinkett Smith to G.I. Jane, was an ad-lib. 

‘Chris Rock came on and he was doing, I think, material based on what happened that night as any comedian will do,’ Mills said. 

‘He made the [‘G.I. Jane’] joke. Obviously, you could see the joke did not land with Jada. And then you see Will start to get up and walk up.’ 

According to Mills, control room operators are prepared for unplanned incidents during live broadcasts, but the slap was not one they expected. 

‘There have certainly been unpredictable moments where people have gotten up and done things, so we thought this was one of those,’ he said.

‘You have to remember that you’re putting a live show on. Had this been something that was being pre-taped, we would have stopped down. Things would have been addressed. We would have seen what to do next.’ 

'It went very quiet,' a source who was in the green room during the incident told The Hollywood Reporter. 'Everyone was like, 'What the f**k is happening?! Did that just happen?! Oh my God!' People were gasping,' another insider alleged.

‘It went very quiet,’ a source who was in the green room during the incident told The Hollywood Reporter. ‘Everyone was like, ‘What the f**k is happening?! Did that just happen?! Oh my God!’ People were gasping,’ another insider alleged.

Once the ceremony went into a commercial break, Academy Awards outgoing CEO Dawn Hudson (pictured) and President David Rubin, along with the Oscars spokesperson, rushed backstage looking 'as serious as could be' and 'walked very, very fast into a private room' with Smith's representative

Sources allege Hudson and Rubin (pictured) never returned to the audience after the incident

Once the ceremony went into a commercial break, Academy Awards outgoing CEO Dawn Hudson (left) and President David Rubin (right), along with the Oscars spokesperson, rushed backstage looking ‘as serious as could be’ and ‘walked very, very fast into a private room’ with Smith’s representative. Sources allege Hudson and Rubin never returned to the audience

Smith's representative, Meredith O'Sullivan Wasson, reportedly spent several commercial breaks traveling between the backstage area and Smith's seat where she conferred with the actor. Jada Pinkett Smith, who was seen holding her husband's hand, also allegedly consulted her own representatives during this time

Smith’s representative, Meredith O’Sullivan Wasson, reportedly spent several commercial breaks traveling between the backstage area and Smith’s seat where she conferred with the actor. Jada Pinkett Smith, who was seen holding her husband’s hand, also allegedly consulted her own representatives during this time

Mills added: ‘But here, you have to remember you’ve got a show to do. Obviously, this was something that was unfortunate, but it was not to a degree that you think, ‘Okay, we need to just stop the entire show.’ And the show just kind of went on.’ 

He also alleged the Academy will have to ‘post-mortem’ the situation, suggesting it may perhaps put new protocols in place to prevent anything like this from happening again. 

Mills reiterated the likelihood of a person nominated for best actor, which Smith did win, being involved in an incident is ‘almost billion to one’. 

‘This was a real almost billion to one moment where the person involved in this incident was the probable winner for best actor,’ Mills explained.

‘So it’s just a scenario you don’t really know and you just got to keep the show going in the meantime and then obviously, AMPAS will address this afterwards, in the post mortem.’

Presenter Chris Rock speaks onstage as Will Smith and Jada Pinkett, bottom left, listen from their seats at the Oscars

Presenter Chris Rock speaks onstage as Will Smith and Jada Pinkett, bottom left, listen from their seats at the Oscars

After the slap, Smith was seen being comforted and consoled by Sean Combs (left) and Tyler Perry (right)

After the slap, Smith was seen being comforted and consoled by Sean Combs (left) and Tyler Perry (right)

Bradley Cooper also pulled Smith aside and was seen in close conversation with him

Bradley Cooper also pulled Smith aside and was seen in close conversation with him 

Shortly after slapping Rock, Smith won the best actor award for his portrayal of Richard Williams, father of tennis stars Serena and Venus, in the film King Richard. 

Moments after the assault, Serena Williams shared her shock on her Instagram stories, sharing a short video of her face with her jaw dropped.

Her initial video has no words, allowing her facial expression to speak for itself.

‘I just sat down, because I was like, I gotta put that drink down because…’ Williams, 40, said in another video moments later, widening her eyes.

The tennis champion may have been hesitant to condemn Smith too clearly, as she was at the Oscars Sunday night for a film he starred in and produced. 

She and her sister Venus, 41, also have executive producer credits for the film.

However, Instagram videos — and in particular the second one, in which she gives side-eye and wrinkles her brow — appear to make the point that she didn’t approve of Smith’s outburst.

Serena Williams shared her too-stunned-to-speak reaction after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars on Sunday night

Serena Williams shared her too-stunned-to-speak reaction after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars on Sunday night

'I just sat down, because I was like, I gotta put that drink down because...' Serena says in another video moments later, widening her eyes

‘I just sat down, because I was like, I gotta put that drink down because…’ Serena says in another video moments later, widening her eyes

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