The controversy around Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars is nuanced for many people, but John Oliver found one angle that seems pretty agreeable. The Last Week Tonight host dedicated a segment to O.J. Simpson's video about the Oscars 2022 moment. For some, Oliver's commentary wasn't even necessary as Simpson's video is absurd enough on its own.
Simpson tweeted a video of himself sitting at a crowded restaurant talking about Smith slapping Rock and giving his thoughts on the story of the week. He said: "It was unfortunate. I think Will was wrong. Look, I understood the feeling." Viewer reactions ranged from horrified to ironic laughter as they considered the implications of Simpson relating to a moment of overwhelming violent rage. Oliver leaned into this angle, responding directly to Simpson as if he were listening.
He was wrong but I understand the sentiment. pic.twitter.com/aURe1pyubg— O.J. Simpson (@TheRealOJ32) March 29, 2022
"Nope, not you O.J., not you," he said. "No one wants to hear from you on this – especially when you seem to be coming live from the COVID patio of a Señor Frog's. You can just sit this one out. Think of this situation like a rowdy bachelorette ordering a mimosa: We want as little juice involved here as humanly possible."
Oliver is now six episodes into his new season, and he has been covering some heavy topics. As usual, his show starts with a quick check-in on the biggest stories of the week, which is where this Simpson joke came in. However, unlike other late-night shows, Oliver then delivers a long-form monologue on a single topic, going in-depth on something that the average viewer is unlikely to know about ahead of time. In this case, he talked about the U.S. trucking industry.
Oliver has covered some big topics since his new season started back in February, including critical race theory, sex work, wrongful convictions, ticket resale and harm reduction of recreational drug use. Along the way he has touched on more immediate stories like the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the trucker convoy protests and the "Don't Say Gay" bill in Florida.
As for Simpson, videos like this are nothing new for him. Since his release from prison, Simpson has periodically posted videos on social media weighing on the biggest news story of the time. He seems content to ignore the criticism he receives for these clips and to continue sharing his thoughts regardless.
Last Week Tonight will be back on Sunday, April 10 at 11 p.m. ET with another new episode. The Will Smith-Chris Rock story is not going anywhere any time soon.