What did he meme? Andrew Garfield explains that viral Oscar photo

A man wearing a suit stands in front of a wall with the word Oscars on it.
Andrew Garfield at the 94th Academy Awards Nominees Luncheon in March 2022.
(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Andrew Garfield confirmed Thursday that he was doing exactly what everyone thought in that viral photo from this year’s Academy Awards: texting his friends about the infamous Oscars slap.

“I feel so bad because Kevin Costner’s introducing the director nominees in the most beautiful and elegant way, and I’m like, ‘There’s no way I’m going to be on camera during this,’” the “Spider-Man: No Way Home” star said on “The View” .

Majority of Americans say Will Smith’s slap was wrong, say polls, but that doesn’t mean they think Chris Rock was in the right with his joke about Smith’s wife.

Garfield — who was nominated for best actor alongside Will Smith — said that his phone was blowing up after the shocking moment onstage.


“Everyone’s texting me, asking me, like, what the vibe in the room is. At that moment, my friends took priority over [presenter] Kevin [Costner],” he said. “But I feel really bad about that.”

Host Joy Behar then asked Garfield if he had any thoughts on what had happened between Smith and Chris Rock.

“Everything’s been said. There’s no need for me to weigh in on that,” he said. “Every possible version of the discussion has happened, and I have no interest in adding my voice to something that’s already been so well spoken about.”

“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda and Andrew Garfield found kinship with each other and their subject in the story of “Rent” creator Jonathan Larson, “Tick, Tick ... Boom!”

Earlier in the interview, Garfield also cleared up rumors that he was retiring from acting.

“I don’t know where that came from,” he said. “I’m just having a holiday.”

The Oscar-nominated actor has been on quite the run, leading several projects including “The Eyes of Tammy Faye,” “Tick, Tick ... Boom!,” “Spider-Man: No Way Home” and, most recently, the FX limited series “Under the Banner of Heaven.”

“I’ve been working hard, and I’ve been loving the work I have been doing,” he said, “I need to take a month or so — a month of a break, maybe two. I’m not retiring.”

Will Smith has resigned from the film academy and says he’s willing to accept whatever punishment is coming his way.

Garfield is also no stranger to memes. While shooting his cameo for “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” he and his Spidey co-stars — Tom Holland and Tobey Maguire — re-created the popular “Spider-Man” pointing photo.

“Me and Tobey [Maguire] landed on set. They put us in the costumes, and they said, ‘We’re gonna do the meme really quickly.’ That was before we had shot anything,” Garfield said on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” last month. “I think we got one good shot because the rest of the time we were just laughing and trying not to stare at each other’s crotches.”