Jason Momoa 'Shocked' That Will Smith Struck Chris Rock: 'There's a Tipping Point for Everyone'

Jason Momoa tells PEOPLE he believes "they'll work it out"

Jason Momoa had a front-row seat to the moment Will Smith struck Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars Sunday night, and he's sharing his immediate reaction.

"I was pretty shocked," the Dune actor, 42, told PEOPLE at the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscars Party.

"I don't know. You just never know where people are at, you know? There's a tipping point for everyone, right? I've had my places," says Momoa. "He can ask for forgiveness. Sometimes you're just sensitive. We're all sensitive. I'm not walking in his shoes, [but] I've definitely been in places like that."

He adds, "It's just people, we're under a microscope. I don't know what really it was for him, be he's an amazing human being. Both of them. And they'll work it out."

94th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
Jason Momoa. Mike Coppola/Getty

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Inside the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, comedian Rock, 57, presented an award, taking time to crack a few jokes, including one about Jada Pinkett Smith's appearance. He made a gag about her hair matching Demi Moore's shaved head in the movie G.I. Jane, which she recently opened up about as a result of her years-long struggle with alopecia. Jada, 50, was visibly unamused, rolling her eyes from her seat.

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Seconds later, Will, 53, walked onstage and approached Rock, smacking him in front of the audience and millions watching the telecast at home. Back at his table, Will shouted to a stunned Rock: "Keep my wife's name out of your f-----g mouth."

chris rock and will smith
Chris Rock; Will Smith. Getty (2)

Rock declined to press charges. When Will won Best Actor later in the ceremony, he apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees but did not mention Rock. In his tearful speech, he spoke about acting out of love and protection, saying, "Love makes you do crazy things."

In his acceptance speech, Will referenced sometimes being the butt of jokes in Hollywood and having to roll with it: "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 okay."

In a statement after the show, the Academy said, "The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world," it continued, shifting the focus to the newly minted Oscar winners.

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