- This year's Oscars made for television history after Will Smith assaulted Chris Rock on stage
- Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith during an award presentation
- Will Smith walked on stage and slapped Chris Rock across the face
It was the slap heard around the world! In a sudden rush of blood which at first appeared to be a staged skit, Will Smith came up on stage while Chris Rock was presenting the Oscar to musician and producer Questlove for Best Documentary and slapped him across the face after a joke he made at Jada Pinkett-Smith's expense referencing her hair loss. "Keep my wife's name of out of your fu*ng mouth!" Will Smith shouted once he got back to his seat. And with that the festivities got awkward real quick!
Despite The Embarrassing Outburst It Was A Great Night For Television
Just saw the Will Smith slap. Anyone have a late night show I can borrow just for tomorrow?— Conan O'Brien (@ConanOBrien) March 28, 2022
Celebrities were quick to make their opinions known about what suddenly became the biggest news story in the world. Everyone from fellow actors to late night pundits had something to say about the titanic smackdown.
“Violence isn’t ok. Assault is never the answer,” tweeted Sophia Bush. “There is NEVER a justification for VIOLENCE! Never, ever, ever!!” echoed Shanola Hampton. Those were perhaps some of the lighter responses. Others like director Judd Apatow were appalled...specially since Smith went on to win the Oscar for Best Actor afterwards were he fumbled with an ironic acceptance speech that called for unity.
“Alert - @amyschumer do not go to the @VanityFair party. Will Smith wants to talk to you about the monologue. Chris— I think you should take him for all his King Richard, I mean, Hitch money. #Oscars.” He later referenced Questlove, writing, “@questlove who deserved his moment without that toxic nonsense before him. I’m glad Chris is ok. Will learned nothing training for Ali. Will Smith’s punches are as soft as his raps. #Oscars” tweeted Apatow who certainly won't be working with Smith anytime soon.
The Academy Must Take Action
Despite the criminally liable assault, Chris Rock has decided not to press charges against Smith. But many are looking at the Academy of Motion Pictures to withdraw Smith's Oscar or at least impose some sort of sanction for his behavior.
"The Will Smith moment will turn political by sunrise" tweeted Linz DeFranco. Comedians like Kathy Griffin have also spoken out stating that this sets a dangerous precedent for working comedians in case someone out there "decides to be the next Will Smith" at a comedy club.
Sports analyst Stephen A. Smith capped off the sentiment of most of us watching: "Didn’t know until just this moment about @jadapsmith having Alopecia. She’s wonderful and great. So is @willsmith — which we all know. They’re both phenomenal. But you do NOT do what Will did in that setting. Go backstage and handle that s*t if you must. Horrible look!"
One thing is for certain. This story isn't going away anytime soon!