Entertainment

Comedian Paul Rodriguez: Will Smith was abusive on the set of ‘Ali’

In the wake of Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock in the face after he made a relatively mild joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair, comedian Paul Rodriguez is speaking out, saying he was targeted by the actor’s dark side on the set of the 2001 film “Ali,” where Smith played the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, Inside Edition reports.

“When he turned around [after the slap] — that smug, that look like that. I’ve seen that look before. I feel like I got slapped everyday with the verbal abuse,” Rodriguez said, adding that during the filming of he movie, Smith became a real life “Jekyll and Hyde.”

“I’d be walking around and he would hurl some insult. You know, I just kept it in. What am I going to do?” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez played Muhammed Ali’s boxing ring physician Dr. Ferdie Pacheco in the movie.

From Inside Edition:

Rodriguez says the real-life doctor showed up on set, and that’s when things turned nasty. The doctor allegedly ranted that his character didn’t have a big enough role. Rodriguez says the doctor hurled racial slurs at Will Smith.

After that, Rodriguez claims Smith took out his anger on him.

“Will Smith says, ‘You better be careful. You’re far away from anyone who likes you.’ I go, ‘Where does that come from? What do you mean I’m far away?’ He goes, ‘Ain’t no Mexicans here in Africa.’ I said, ‘What?’” Rodriguez said. 

Rodriguez even kept a diary of the traumatic experience.

“The insults just continue — that look of impunity. And I’m saying to myself, it went from one of the happiest moments of my life to a horrible situation,” Rodriguez said.

Watch Inside Edition’s report below:

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