Eight months after the Oscars slap heard 'round the world, the women of The View are finally ready to move on. On Tuesday morning, the co-hosts discussed Will Smith's emotional interview with Trevor Noah about the altercation with Chris Rock, which they agreed was a mistake, but not "unforgivable." As Joy Behar put it, "It's not like he did something so horrible like have Thanksgiving with Trump."
In his interview with Noah, Smith addressed the incident directly. "At the end of the day, I just lost it, you know," he said. "That's not who I want to be." Expressing concern about the potential impact on his new film Emancipation, his first post-Oscars project, he added, "I hope that their work will be honored and their work will not be tainted based on a horrific decision on my part."
After playing a few clips of the interview, Whoopi Goldberg posed a question to the panel: "Are audiences ready to move past what he did on Oscar night?"
Behar argued that the consequences Smith has faced, including a 10-year ban from the Oscars, are sufficient punishment, a sentiment with which her co-hosts agreed. "I think there are some people that won't want to watch it, [but] I hope people will go watch it," said Sunny Hostin. "Like Joy said, he's definitely apologized over and over and over again. He's explained himself. He's been banned from the Academy. He can't even go — he's probably going to get nominated for this role [in Emancipation] and he can't attend the Academy Awards."
"When is enough enough?" Hostin continued. "When is enough cancellation enough? When is enough punishment enough?"
WILL SMITH SAYS BOTTLED RAGE LED TO OSCARS SLAP: As the Oscar winner returns to the big screen, he opened up about the moment he stormed the stage at the #Oscars and slapped Chris Rock – #TheView co-hosts question if audiences will move past it. https://t.co/cVclFZQU98 pic.twitter.com/zi9SnQAAxw— The View (@TheView) November 29, 2022
The discussion then devolved into yet another "separating the art from the artist" debate, and all five ladies agreed that doing so is necessary in Smith's case. "There are certain things that are unforgivable. I don't think this was," said Alyssa Farah Griffin. "I do still feel for Chris Rock. I think it was a really low moment and shouldn't have happened. But you can separate the art from the artist if it's not beyond the pale. I'm not going to listen to Kanye, that's beyond the pale to me. I can forgive Will Smith."
The segment ended with Sara Haines attempting to make a comparison between Smith and "historical figures" who committed "dirty deeds" that largely fell flat.
Behar was quick to remind her that these situations aren't analogous. "It's an irrelative situation," she said. "You have somebody like this monster Vladimir Putin ... What he did, it was a nasty thing he did but it's not unforgivable. What Vladimir Putin did was unforgivable! So let's keep the perspective a little bit."
Will this be the end of The View's year of slap coverage? Probably not, but we sure can hope.
Claire Spellberg Lustig is the Senior Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.