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"What on earth did Will Smith do tonight to a comedian?" During his pre-presentation speech, Will Smith slapped Chris Rock in the face. The actor also told the audience, "Keep my wife's name out of your f--king mouth!" Afterward, Chris walked off stage and Jada Pinkett-Smith consoled him.
The Oscars 2022 has been just more than awards this year. Shocks, sighs, and surprises abound at this year’s Oscars, but all anyone will remember is a slap. The 94th Academy Awards were held, on Sunday night and so did the feud between Chris Rock and Will Smith.
After the slap, Chris Rock was able to resume his speech but stopped short of saying anything. He declined to press charges against Smith, but the crowd praised his composure. Jameela Jamil chimed in with a comment regarding Smith. Chris Rock’s speech was interrupted by Will Smith, who slapped Chris Rock after shouting at the host to keep his wife’s name out of his mouth. Apparently, the outburst continued into the best actor acceptance speech. In an attempt to avoid the slap, Will Smith shouted at Chris Rock to “keep my wife’s name out of your f—- and he said, “F——-!”
Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the #Oscars after the comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's hair loss while presenting the award for documentary feature.
— Los Angeles Times (@latimes) March 28, 2022
Chris Rock continued to present at the Oscars 2022, but Smith hit him on the stage, claiming that Chris Rock was ‘shaky’ and had “lost his wife.” The two actors were then separated, and both went on to win an award for their film, King Richard. The incident has spawned several theories and rumors in the past few years, including that, Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock at Oscars 2022.
It likely overshadowed the rest of the night, particularly Smith’s Best Actor Oscars 2022 award for King Richard, which came a few minutes later. Smith cried as he described himself as “a vessel of love” and apologized to the Academy but there was no specific apology for Chris Rock. Will Smith won his first Academy Award for his role as the father of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams in King Richard. He also stated that,
“Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.”
Though Chris Rock and Amy Schumer both apologized for the incident, he did not apologize for his actions, which only served to highlight the uproar. The actress was congratulated and gave Will Smith a standing ovation, but was visibly shaken after the incident.
While Chris Rocks’ slap of Will Smith prompted many in the audience to cheer for their friend and fellow nominee. But while this might have been the case in the past, the actor’s reaction was a slap that will make Chris Rocks’ wife’stiff’ in the morning. After that, both men had a public fight over the actress’s words. It was a highly-charged situation and the actors did not seek retribution.
Will Smith’s slap of Chris Rock was a surprise, but it was not the first time that Will Smith hit a celebrity. He hit a comedian in the face during an Oscars 2022 presentation after joking about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s short hair. At the time, it was clear that Will Smith’s slap was a misunderstanding and he slapped Chris Rock. However, Will Smith made it to his official Instagram account,
Prior to Smith’s apology, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences declared in a statement that it “condemns” Smith’s behavior.
“We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law.”
Will Smith and his PR team will be hoping that his apology will be enough to save his career and his connection with the Academy, as well as quell the media firestorm that erupted following the altercation on Sunday night. His statement has been meticulously crafted.
Smith used careful wording, explaining why he reacted the way he did without attempting to justify his actions. But just because he apologized doesn’t mean the story is done. Apart from that, Rock will have to make a public statement at some point. So far, the signals indicate that he intends to laugh off the situation.
The Comedian, Chris Rock reportedly said backstage after the incident took place,
“That’s the only time you get hit by Muhammad Ali and it doesn’t leave a scratch,” referring to Smith’s role in the boxer’s biopic.
Only one thing is certain: there is still a lot of interest in this narrative around the world, and people are eager to see where it goes next.