The Oscars 2022 may have ended, but talks surrounding the event are just getting started. One of the biggest happenings of the award night was the unexpected slap Will Smith gave to Chris Rock in response to a joke on stage.
Why did Will Smith slap Chris Rock?
When Chris Rock took to the stage to present the Oscar for the best documentary feature, he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved hair.
He said, “Javier Bardem and his wife are both nominated. Now, if she loses, he can’t win.” Adding, “He is praying that Will Smith wins, like, please, lord. Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it, all right?” As the joke received a lukewarm response, Rock added: “That was a nice one!”
His joke precipitated some laughter from the audience, including from Will Smith at first, but Jada was having none of it. She rolled her eyes and soon after Will walked up the stage and slapped Chris on the face.
“Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth!” Will Smith yelled as he returned to his seat.
The auditorium went silent for a few seconds afterward.
After the exchange, Chris Rock said, “That was the greatest night in the history of television.”
Jada Pinkett Smith has been open about her condition with alopecia since 2018. She has often spoken about what it’s like to live with the condition that causes her hair to fall off.
What did the Academy do in response?
Following the incident, netizens on social media have been calling for Will Smith’s arrest, even though Chris Rock has refused to press charges at this time. In response, the Academy issued a statement saying, “The Academy does not condone violence in any form. Tweeting, they added, trying to refocus attention on the more dignified elements from the award show,
“Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.”
Watch the slap below: