At the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony, the biggest event of the night was when Will Smith took to the stage to slap Chris Rock after the presenter made a “G.I. Jane 2” joke at Jada Pinkett Smith’s expense.
Absolutely everyone has been talking about the altercation - including former One Direction singer Liam Payne. A clip of Payne discussing the incident has gone viral and has left viewers baffled as the singer appears to have adopted a completely different accent.
This is what you need to know.
What did Liam Payne say in the interview?
At the Elton John Foundation Oscars after party, Liam Payne chatted to GMB about the awards night and was asked about his thoughts regarding the slap.
The singer, speaking in a strange mixture of accents, said: “Will Smith actually used to live behind my house. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing his son and daughter very well.
“I believe that he felt whatever he did, he had the right to do. I also felt there were three losers in one fight. He didn’t know, being Chris Rock, he didn’t do what he had to do, being Will Smith, and she did nothing, being Jada.”
He added that Smith’s emotional winner’s speech caused him to leave his seat because “it cut me really deep”.
Payne said: “It’s a very sad thing, but there was a powerful moment for me to sit and watch one of the world’s best emoters ever we’ve seen speak from the heart and I would rather take the beauty out of the situation than take the pain.”
He said that he wouldn’t comment on the fight between Smith and Rock, but added that he had met Rock when he was touring with One Direction and described him as “lovely”.
Payne said: “I met Chris when I was younger and it was a very illusional time, I was a teenager who had just seen him at Madison Square Garden, it was very strange. And I sat with him and spoke for 20, 30 minutes and he was lovely.”
What were the reactions to Liam Payne’s new accent?
Responding to the interview, viewers have compared his new accent to that of Irish, Welsh, American, Geordie, South African and Dutch.
As the video of Payne’s interview made the rounds on social media, Twitter users had a lot to say about the strange change of accent.
One person tweeted: “I enjoy this video so much. The strange American/Irish/Dutch accent. The two minutes of pure wired-guy-talks-about-meaning-of-life-in-smoking-area energy. The lack of explanation as to why they actually asked Liam Payne in the first place?? Amazing.”
Another wrote: “This is the funniest thing to come out of this whole situation. Everything about this interview is comedy gold. The accent. The jaw. The absolute sh**e being chatted. It’s just so good. Liam Payne’s mind is in its own galaxy.”
“Will Smith’s slap was so hard it somehow changed Liam Payne’s accent,” wrote another.
“Quietly the best piece of content surrounding the Will Smith incident so far: Liam Payne gushing like an LA wellness influencer about ‘one of the world’ greatest emoters’, in a hybrid accent of totally inexplicable origin + managing to drop in that he sold out Madison Sq Garden,” tweeted another.
Where is Liam Payne from?
Payne is originally from Wolverhampton in the West Midlands, England.
He posted a video of himself to his Instagram back in February where he could be heard talking with his usual accent that fans have come to know well.