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Film

Steve Coogan comments on Will Smith Oscars slap: “It’s appalling arrogance”

This year’s Oscars ceremony was defined by one single moment: Will Smith walking up to the stage and slapping Chris Rock across the face. Since then, almost all the discussions about the ceremony and the event have fixated on this altercation despite the fact that the Oscars are meant to start conversations about accomplished and unique artists.

The latest to join the debate is Steve Coogan, who claimed that the slap brought out the worst in Hollywood. According to Coogan, the wave of virtue signalling that swept up everyone in Hollywood after the incident is extremely condemnable since most of the decisions made in the industry are thought of in terms of financial gains and media exposure.

In a recent interview, Coogan said: “First of all, I think Hollywood showed itself at its absolute worst. For all the kind of moral posturing that Hollywood has… I think all Hollywood’s moral posturing are always commercial decisions and if they’re moral, they’re dressed up as moral but they are always bottomline decisions.”

While talking about the slap itself, he added: “I think it’s appalling arrogance. The epitome of all that’s twisted and horrible about Hollywood. Having said that, frankly you either believe in freedom of expression or you don’t. We do have rules. You can’t go up to someone as it were and be racist to their face. You can’t hide behind freedom of expression.”

Coogan said that he agreed with what Jim Carrey and Rob Reiner had to say about the matter since both of them condemned Hollywood in general as well. “I think whether Chris Rock wants to press charges should be academic,” Coogan noted, claiming that the event, as well as the aftermath, have exposed the ugliness of Hollywood.