Megastar actor Will Smith slapped superstar actor and comedian Chris Rock at the Oscar Awards over a joke about Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Chris Rock was simply doing his job which was to host the show. He has hosted the show before and he usually does a similar routine. He’ll joke about random topics of the day and about anything else that he can, especially the people in the crowd. Chris Rock has been a comedian for the better part of 30 years and hasn’t been labeled as a mean-spirited or “shock” comic. Usually, his jokes are seen as nothing but light-hearted fun. Will Smith took Chris Rock’s jokes a different way live on stage during the Oscars.
Jada Smith has a condition called alopecia that results in her losing hair. As of today, she is essentially rocking a completely bald hairstyle. This look is reminiscent of a 90’s movie called G.I. Jane starring Demi Moore. She wore the same hairstyle as Jada Pinkett in the movie which was about her physical prowess in the military. Chris Rock made the connection in the joke after referencing Jada then saying he can’t wait to see G.I. Jane 2. Will Smith initially laughed at the joke but Jada didn’t. Within a few seconds of Will’s initial laugh, Chris Rock found himself being slapped by him on stage. What probably happened is that Will caught a glimpse of Jada’s unappreciative look after Chris Rock’s joke. So to defend his wife’s honor, Will got up and put his hands on Chris Rock.
Chris Rock handled himself with the best composure that anyone could under the circumstances. He did not strike back and attempted to continue the show. Unfortunately, after finishing a couple of lines of the presentation that was interrupted by Will, Chris went backstage and eventually left the building. Will Smith, however, was permitted to stay throughout the entire show. Thirty minutes later, Will won Best Actor for his role in the movie about Venus & Serena Williams’ father: “King Richard”. Will gave a tearful speech while receiving the award. He also apologized to everyone for the slapping incident, except for Chris Rock. He actually tried to tearfully condone his behavior by stating something along the lines of “in this industry, people get to disrespect you and you just have to take it”.
An alopecia joke by itself doesn’t appear to be much of a reason to strike a man on international television. The real reason this happened is that Will Smith has a bunch of pent-up frustration and anger over the actions of his wife. Time and time again, Jada Pinkett Smith embarrasses Will on every platform imaginable. The most infamous of the recent incidents was the “Red Table Talk” podcast Jada hosts on Facebook with her mother and sometimes her daughter, Willow. On that show, she admitted to having an affair with one of her son’s friends who lived with them at the time and knew Will personally, singer August Alsina. Will made an appearance on the podcast to discuss this issue and “clear the air”. All they truly did was muddy the waters. From that point, Will Smith has gone straight downhill.
LAPD has expressed interest in this event because this is a clear case of assault from Will Smith to Chris Rock. No doubts about it. Chris Rock has declined to press charges… for now. He still has time to actually change his mind and pursue criminal action against Will. There is also the chance of a civil suit which Chris Rock would absolutely win.
A large group of voices online believe that this event was staged. For two powerhouse black men to fight each other on stage at an event that has been hounded for years about poor black representation would be totally counterproductive. The Academy has officially denounced what Will has done and they are considering revoking his award. Nobody from the Oscars or anyone involved with the slapping incident has come forward to say anything else other than what is obvious… that Will Smith slapped Chris Rock.
Will Smith Omits Chris Rock from Apology as He Wins Best Actor at Oscars | PEOPLE.com
Will Smith wins best actor Oscar for King Richard | Oscars 2022 | The Guardian
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Oscars 2022: Academy urged to address Will Smith’s attack on Chris Rock and Code of Conduct breach | Daily Mail Online
Chris Rock Calls Out Jada Pinkett Smith During Oscars Monologue, Addresses Diversity Controversy – YouTube
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Oscars Producer Will Packer Calls Slap “a Very Painful Moment” – The Hollywood Reporter
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The Hashtag That Changed the Oscars: An Oral History – The New York Times