Megyn Kelly Compares Will Smith's Oscars Slap to Meghan Markle 'Whining'

Will Smith has been compared to Meghan Markle during an interview given by broadcaster Megyn Kelly on U.K television station GB News.

Speaking to GB News anchor Dan Wooton, Kelly said that she puts Smith "in the same boat as Meghan Markle" following the Ali star's recent outburst at the 94th Academy Awards ceremony, during which he slapped comedian Chris Rock before delivering an emotional speech accepting the award for best actor.

Kelly expanded that she thought Smith's outburst and speech, in which he complained about being disrespected and expected to accept it as a person in the public eye, was akin to Meghan's "whining and crying about the alleged racists she wouldn't name in the royal family and about how hard it is to be a princess and everything... no one cares, they have their own problems to deal with."

In a move that has sparked ongoing controversy, Smith approached the stage unannounced at the Oscars ceremony in Hollywood in March and struck comedian Rock on the face following a joke Rock had made at Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith's, expense.

Rock appeared visibly shaken by the encounter, which saw Smith return to his seat and continue to shout expletives at the comedian. Later in the evening Smith won and accepted the award for best actor for his role as Venus and Serena Williams' father in the movie King Richard. An emotional Smith appeared on stage in tears saying:

"Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family. In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world...

"I know, to do what we do, you gotta be able to take abuse. You gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you gotta be able to have people disrespecting you and you gotta smile and pretend like that's OK.

"Denzel [Washington] said to me a few minutes ago, "At your highest moment, be careful, that's when the devil comes for you." I want to be a vessel for love...

"I want to be an ambassador of that kind of love and care and concern. I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees."

Kelly compared Smith's speech to statements made by Meghan who has, since becoming a member of the royal family, spoken out against her treatment at the hands of the U.K tabloids and users on social media while feeling forced to accept it as part of who she was.

In a 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Meghan spoke candidly about her mental health and the toll that being in the public eye had taken on her during the time she spent as a full-time working member of the royal family.

Speaking to Winfrey, Meghan explained that her distress over untrue stories circulating about her and, what she perceived as, the royal institutions' unwillingness to help her, led to her experiencing "real and frightening" thoughts of ending her own life:

"I just didn't want to be alive anymore." she told Winfrey, "And that was a very clear and real and frightening constant thought. And I remember how [Harry] just cradled me."

Together with Prince Harry, Meghan has developed a series of channels allowing them to communicate directly with people and gain control of their public narratives. One of these channels is a podcast announced in March headed by Meghan titled Archetypes. The Spotify exclusive series will focus on the ways that women are negatively labeled in society—something that Meghan has experienced first-hand.

Kelly affirmed her position with Wooton on Smith stating: "You're a huge star, you're probably one of the top 3 biggest stars in the world... Do I give two figs over whether somebody's saying something not nice about you or how it's hard to withstand the barbs that come your way? No, I don't."

Smith has since apologized for his behavior at the Academy Awards ceremony in a statement issued through Instagram that said: "Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior 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.

"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.

"I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.

"I am a work in progress."

If you have thoughts of suicide, confidential help is available for free at the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Call 1-800-273-8255. The line is available 24 hours, every day.

Will Smith Meghan Markle Kelly
Will Smith has been compared to Meghan Markle by broadcaster Megyn Kelly during an interview with GB News. Smith (L) photographed at the 94th Academy Awards, March 27, 2022. Meghan (R) photographed at a women's empowerment reception, April 19, 2018. Neilson Barnard/Getty Images/Chris Jackson/WPA Pool/Getty Images