CNN anchor ‘a little embarrassed’ having to talk about Will Smith slap

Will Smith poses in the press room with the award for best actor for "King Richard"
Associated Press/Jordan Strauss, Invision
Will Smith poses in the press room with the award for best actor for “King Richard” at the 27th annual Critics Choice Awards on Sunday, March 13, 2022, at the Fairmont Century Plaza Hotel in Los Angeles.

CNN anchor Sara Sidner offered a sobering reminder of the problems facing the world as news outlets spent hours covering actor Will Smith’s attack on comedian Chris Rock during Sunday night’s Oscars. 

“I have to be honest. I’m a little embarrassed that I’m even talking about this right now,” Sidner said Monday morning during an appearance on the network’s morning program.

“We’ve got inflation that is crushing families. We have millions of refugees who are running for their lives trying to find refuge, mothers and children, and we’ve got Ukraine, which is literally on fire and being bombed,” she said.

“This was a moment that did not need to happen, and now it’s trending on Twitter instead of a thousand other things that are far more important,” she said.

“Watching that was really, really disheartening and disappointing,” she said. 

Smith’s storming of the Oscars stage and physical attack on Rock, which came after the comedian cracked a joke about the actor’s wife, dominated news headlines Sunday night into Monday morning. 

Sidner will debut a new show on CNN’s streaming service this week.

Several pundits across the media and entertainment landscape spent Monday morning reacting to the news, many blasting Smith for the violent outburst and others admonishing Rock for the joke, which some took to be in poor taste. 

Co-host of “The View” Sunny Hostin said it was a display of “toxic masculinity.” Comedian Rosie O’Donnell compared Smith to former President Trump for “not being held accountable” for his actions.  

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