There was a time, long ago, when talking about The Oscars meant talking about the movies and the snubs and what everyone was wearing. That timeline is over, though, because it is now impossible to utter the words “The Oscars” without mentioning “The Slap” and it will be that way forever, probably, as celebs continue to “process” the events of what happened.
While on a comedy tour stop in Orlando, Florida, on Thursday evening attended by PEOPLE, the comedian said that she remains unsettled after Smith slapped Chris Rock during the 2022 Academy Awards in March.
“I’m still traumatized,” Sykes, 58, told audience members at the event, which took place at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. “I can’t talk about it. I get emotional.”
“I couldn’t believe he was still sitting there, like an assh—,” the star continued, referring to how Smith remained seated during the ceremony, before later winning the Best Actor award. “Shouldn’t you be sitting there with a lawyer or LAPD, motherf—–?”
Added Sykes: “I hope he gets his s— together. Until then, f— him.”
During the 2022 Oscars, Smith, 53, walked onstage and struck Rock, 57, in response to a joke the comedian made about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. (Pinkett Smith, 50, has been open about living with alopecia.)
After hitting Rock, Smith returned to his seat and shouted, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—— mouth!” to a stunned Rock, who moved the show forward by presenting an award after being initially speechless.
Since the incident, Smith has publicly apologized to Rock, saying that he “reacted emotionally” because the “joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear.”
The star has since resigned from the Academy, which has also banned the actor from attending its events for the next 10 years. Smith also has been working on himself, as a source told PEOPLE last month that the actor traveled to India for spiritual purposes, to practice yoga and meditation.
Sykes has previously spoken out about the Oscars incident in the past. During an episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show days after the slap, the star said that she “physically felt ill” watching the occurrence.
“And for them to let [Will] stay in that room and enjoy the rest of the show and accept his award, I was like, ‘How gross is this?’ This sends the wrong message,” Sykes added at the time.
Sykes also shared how the incident played out from her perspective as a host, telling Ellen DeGeneres that she “felt so awful for my friend Chris” when she found out about it while backstage.
“I saw Chris at [Guy Oseary’s afterparty] and as soon as I walked up to him, the first thing he said is, ‘I’m so sorry.’ I was like, ‘Why are you apologizing?'” said Sykes. “He was like, ‘It was supposed to be your night. You and Amy and Regina were doing such a great job. I’m so sorry this is now gonna be about this.’ ”
“Because that’s who Chris is,” she added to DeGeneres.