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Will Smith Oscars: Karl Stefanovic says ‘bullying Jada Pinkett Smith’ is worse than Chris Rock slap 

Will Smith Oscars: Karl Stefanovic says 'bullying Jada Pinkett Smith' is worse than Chris Rock slap  2

The world is still reeling from the now-infamous Oscars scandal on Sunday, which saw Will Smith slap Chris Rock on stage after he told an insensitive joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair loss.

And on Thursday, Karl Stefanovic voiced his opinion on the matter – claiming he believes the ‘bullying’ of Jada is ‘way worse psychologically’ than the slap itself.

The Today show host, 47, said on the show: ‘This is what I feel, and I’m actually sick of seeing everything about it on social media and everything.

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Oscars fallout: On Thursday, Karl Stefanovic (left) claiming he believes the 'bullying' of Jada Pinkett Smith via Chris Rock's insensitive joke was 'way worse psychologically' than the slap itself. Pictured with co-host Allison Langdon

Oscars fallout: On Thursday, Karl Stefanovic (left) claiming he believes the ‘bullying’ of Jada Pinkett Smith via Chris Rock’s insensitive joke was ‘way worse psychologically’ than the slap itself. Pictured with co-host Allison Langdon

‘I will say this – I think a lot of people have come out and they’ve been very quick to savage Will Smith for slapping someone, when I thought the abuse directed at Will Smith’s wife was way worse psychologically.’

‘The abuse from Chris Rock…?’ his co-host Allison Langdon replied, to which Karl bluntly said: ‘Yes.’

Sunday’s slapping incident occurred after Rock cracked a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s ‘G.I. Jane’ haircut, referring to the Demi Moore character who famously had a shaved head in the 1997 film. Jada suffers from hair-loss condition alopecia.

'I will say this - I think a lot of people have come out and they've been very quick to savage Will Smith for slapping someone, when I thought the abuse directed at Will Smith's wife was way worse psychologically,' Karl said

‘I will say this – I think a lot of people have come out and they’ve been very quick to savage Will Smith for slapping someone, when I thought the abuse directed at Will Smith’s wife was way worse psychologically,’ Karl said

Rock has yet to speak out about what happened, and it isn’t known whether he knew of Jada’s condition prior to telling the joke.

‘I don’t know why a lot of women too have come out and gone, “that’s disgraceful, that slap” – but it’s almost as if the slap is [more] of a crime than the bullying. And I think the bullying was far worse,’ Karl went on. 

‘I think everyone has called out that it’s horrible what he said, but you don’t respond with violence,’ Ally said.

Insensitive: Sunday's slapping incident occurred after Rock cracked a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's (left) 'G.I. Jane' haircut, referring to the Demi Moore character who famously had a shaved head in the 1997 film. Jada suffers from hair-loss condition alopecia. Pictured with husband Will Smith (right)

Insensitive: Sunday’s slapping incident occurred after Rock cracked a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s (left) ‘G.I. Jane’ haircut, referring to the Demi Moore character who famously had a shaved head in the 1997 film. Jada suffers from hair-loss condition alopecia. Pictured with husband Will Smith (right)

‘But you vocalised that, and you’ve said that’s worse,’ Karl responded. ‘I see the bullying of Jada, and the vocalisation of Jada in a horrendous way… I think it’s so awful, and far outweighs an open slap from a dude.’

‘I just think when someone turns around and your solution to that is violence, it just sends a really bad message,’ Ally chimed in.

‘Is that above the abuse on her?’ Karl asked Ally, to which she said: ‘For me, the first part of the joke hasn’t been clarified. I want to know if he knew or not.’

The shocking slap, broadcast live around the world, stunned both the live audience at the Dolby Theatre and TV viewers.

After Smith strode out on stage and slapped Rock with an open right hand following the insensitive gag, Rock staggered and exclaimed, ‘Wow, Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of me.’

Wild scenes: After Smith strode out on stage and slapped Rock with an open right hand, Rock staggered and exclaimed, 'Wow, Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of me'

Wild scenes: After Smith strode out on stage and slapped Rock with an open right hand, Rock staggered and exclaimed, ‘Wow, Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of me’

Smith, visibly emotional, walked back to his seat in the audience and shouted: ‘Keep my wife’s name out of your f**king mouth.’

The exchange was muted on a delayed telecast in much of the U.S., but was aired in full to some international audiences.

Smith later used his acceptance speech for his first Academy Award to defend storming onto the Oscars stage.  

He won Best Actor for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the determined father who raised tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams, in ‘King Richard.’

But his first Oscar win was completely overshadowed by the assault, which occurred about 40 minutes before his award was unsealed.

Apology: Will issued an apology a day after the show, saying in an Instagram post that he was 'embarrassed' by his actions

Apology: Will issued an apology a day after the show, saying in an Instagram post that he was ’embarrassed’ by his actions

Smith was still allowed to make his acceptance speech and, with tears streaming down his face, he made an emotional defense of hitting Rock.  

‘Love makes you do crazy things’, the rapper and actor admitted as he accepted his first Best Actor Oscar. 

Will issued an apology a day after the show, saying in an Instagram post that he was ’embarrassed’ by his actions.

‘Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,’ he wrote.

‘My behaviour at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.

'My behaviour at last night's Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada's medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,' he wrote

‘My behaviour at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,’ he wrote

‘I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.’

Smith then went on to say sorry to the organizers and the producers of the show. 

‘I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world,’ Smith continued.

‘I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behaviour has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.’

The Philadelphia-born actor concluded: ‘I am a work in progress. Sincerely, Will.’

'I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behaviour has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us,' he added

‘I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behaviour has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us,’ he added 

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