Slap Seen Around The World: Full Story (And Some History) Behind WILD Will Smith & Chris Rock Oscars Altercation!!
Buckle up, because this is way more layered than it initially appeared!
By now, you’ve likely seen the footage of Will Smith open hand slapping Chris Rock after he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith. In the off-chance you missed it, here’s the full UNCENSORED moment, that quite literally sucked the life out of the Dolby Theater in Hollywood on Sunday night.
“Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it. Alright! [referring to the joke after audience sneers] That was a nice one!”
Then, Will charges the stage, slaps the comedian, and yells:
“Keep my wife’s name out of your f**king mouth!”
*Cue a truly shocked audience*
And here’s what happened when the show cut to commercial. You can see Denzel Washington comforting Jada, while Will is crowded by a few people, including his publicist and Bradley Cooper:
ET learned that Tyler Perry also joined Denzel and Will for a private moment. They all hugged, and things seemed fine after.
Now, one could say this tension between Will and Madagascar co-stars Chris and Jada was a one time occurrence — but things are not always as they seem. There are a few elements to this beefy backstory, so hopefully we can provide a clearer picture of the moment’s complicated nature…
Jada has been very open in the last year about hair loss and the decision to embrace her baldness due to an autoimmune disorder called alopecia. So in Chris’ case, it is in poor taste to joke about her bald head, especially someone who has been so vulnerable in discussing the struggle.
What’s even weirder about all of this, is Rock made a movie about Black hair in 2009 called Good Hair. According to Chris, he was inspired to make the film after his young daughter asked him, “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?” He realized she had already thought her hair was not “good” at just three years old.
The film was met with controversy and even a lawsuit! So after really digging into the topic and wanting to understand more, it truly begs us to ask why he’s commenting on Black women’s hair (or lack thereof) in the first place, when he knows just how politicized and nuanced the matter is?
Chris’ 2016 Oscars Joke ABout Jada
Going in a little deeper, you’d remember in 2016 Chris hosted the Oscars and took a jab at Jada (after she made a video about boycotting the show during #OscarsSoWhite) in his opening monologue:
“What happened this year? People went nuts. Spike [Lee] got mad. Jada went mad. Will went mad. Everyone went mad! Jada said she’s not coming. I was like, ‘Isn’t she on a TV show?’ Jada’s gonna boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited!”
“Her man Will was not nominated for Concussion. I get it. You get mad. It’s not fair that Will was this good and didn’t get nominated. You’re right. It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West! Ok?”
At the time, she seemingly brushed off the comments, telling paparazzi a few days later:
“Hey look, it comes with the territory, we gotta keep it moving. We got a lot of stuff we gotta handle, a lot of stuff going on in our world right now. We gotta keep it moving.”
Will said he was initially taken back after hearing Jada’s video about the boycott, but previously shared with GMA that it had nothing to do with the fact that he wasn’t nominated:
“Had I been nominated and no other people of color were, [Jada] would have made the video anyway. We would still be having this conversation. This is so deeply not about me. This is about the children that are going to sit down and watch this show and they aren’t going to see themselves represented.”
Will’s Best Actor Speech
As if the slap and aftermath wasn’t enough, Will took home Best Actor for his role in King Richard. In his acceptance speech, he did not say sorry to Chris, but did apologize to the academy. In part, he shared:
“Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family… I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people. I know to do what we do, you’ve got to be able to take abuse. You’ve got to be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you’ve got to be able to have people disrespecting you. And you’ve got to smile and you’ve got to pretend like that’s okay.”
Full speech (below):
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) March 28, 2022
The academy responded as well, sharing:
The Academy does not condone violence of any form.
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.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) March 28, 2022
We’ll likely be talking about this for days to come. Thoughts on all of this, Perezcious readers? Did this breakdown help you realize the altercation might have been a buildup from previous jabs? SOUND OFF with your thoughts on the comments (below)!
[Image via ABC]