Kevin Hart Says Will Smith Is in a 'Better Space' Four Months After Oscars: 'People Are Human'

"Ultimately, life goes on and people grow, so give him the opportunity to do so," Kevin Hart said of Will Smith

MTV Generation Award Honoree Will Smith (L) and host Kevin Hart pose backstage at the 2016 MTV Movie Awards at Warner Bros. Studios on April 9, 2016 in Burbank, California. MTV Movie Awards airs April 10, 2016 at 8pm ET/PT.
Will Smith and Kevin Hart in 2016. Photo: Jason Kempin/MTV1415/Getty

Kevin Hart is shedding light on how pal Will Smith is doing four months after his Oscars controversy.

At the March 27 ceremony, before his win for Best Actor, Will, 53, walked onstage and hit Chris Rock on live television after taking issue with a joke made about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith. The joke was about Jada's shaved head; she lives with alopecia, and Will explained in a statement days later that the punchline was "too much for me to bear" and he "reacted emotionally."

Will, who later resigned from the Academy and was banned from attending their ceremonies for the next 10 years, said in his statement, "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."

At the Los Angeles premiere of his animated movie DC League of Super-Pets in Los Angeles, Hart, 43, told Entertainment Tonight that Will is working on himself after the incident.

"Will is apologetic, you know. He's in a better space, of course, than what he was after. People are human, and as humans sometimes we make mistakes. So it's not about talking about the past, it's about acknowledging the present and doing your best to move forward."

Hart said he's still friends with both Will and Rock, adding that he hopes they can make amends.

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

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"I can get only hope that the two of them find a way to find some solace in that and move past it. I just like good energy. I love to see people be the best," he told ET. "I still love him, I still love Chris."

He added, "You can't judge a person by one thing. Ultimately, life goes on and people grow, so give him the opportunity to do so."

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In the weeks since the Oscars, Rock, 57, has made brief jokes at standup performances referencing the moment, but he hasn't yet spoken about it in length. He has said he'll "talk about it at some point" eventually.

Jada, 50, addressed the incident on an episode of her Red Table Talk show, saying, "About Oscar night: My deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have an opportunity to heal, talk this out and reconcile. With the state of the world today, we need 'em both, and we all actually need one another more than ever. Until then, Will and I are continuing to do what we have done for the last 28 years — and that's [to] keep figuring out this thing called life together. Thank you for listening."

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