Speed Reads

'We are all mountain ranges'

Cory Booker on The Slap: 'Nothing at all justifies violence,' but 'we've all made mistakes'

As the rest of us continue to watch, rewatch, and discuss what happened at Sunday's Academy Awards (i.e. Will Smith slapping Chris Rock on stage), Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) has offered up his take on the situation. 

"A lot of us who are in public life know that there are going to be cruel jokes, and I've never been one to endorse that kind of humor," Booker said. "I think the best of our comedians, which I've seen Chris Rock do, are ones that highlight injustices, call our attention and engage us in a way with the absurdity ... of the injustice of this world."

Smith's slap arrived after Rock made a joke at actress Jada Pinkett Smith's expense. Pinkett Smith and Smith are married.

"But nothing at all justifies violence," Booker continued. "What we saw was violence that night." 

That said, the senator called on viewers to extend "grace" to both Smith and Rock: "We are all mountain ranges, we've all made mistakes, and the totality of who Will Smith is, who Chris Rock is was not defined by what I thought was a very unfortunate and low moment for the Oscars and for all of us."

Smith has since apologized to Rock for his "unacceptable and inexcusable" behavior.