Will Smith–Chris Rock slapping incident

During the 94th Academy Awards on March 27, 2022, then-Academy Award nominated actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock across the face, who was presenting the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head, comparing her to the movie G.I. Jane. Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia, was sitting in the audience next to her husband Smith. After the joke, Smith walked onto the stage, and slapped Rock in the face. Smith then returned to his seat and twice shouted, "Keep my wife's name out your fucking mouth!" The next day, he apologized to Rock and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences via Instagram.

The event went viral, causing many to talk about insult comedy, violence, and how to respect your family.[1][2][3][4]

Joke[change | change source]

Chris Rock: Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see it, alright? It's-- that was a nice one! Okay, I'm out here-- Uh oh. Richard...

After the joke, Smith laughed and smiled, while Pinkett Smith was not happy. The broadcast then returned to Rock and shortly afterwards Smith was seen walking across the stage directly towards Rock. Without speaking, Smith slapped Rock across the face, then turned around and returned to the audience. Rock's reaction, and Smith's comments were:[5]

Chris Rock: Oh, wow. Wow. Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me.

Will Smith: Keep my wife's name out your fucking mouth! (audience gasps)

Rock: Wow, dude.

Smith: Yes.

Rock: It was a G.I. Jane joke.

Smith: Keep my wife's name out your fucking mouth!

Rock: I'm going to, okay? I could–oh, okay. That was a... greatest night in the history of television, okay. Okay. (audience chuckles) [6]

During the same ceremony, Smith went on to win the Academy Award for Best Actor for the movie King Richard. In his acceptance speech, Smith said that love made him do "crazy things".

Reaction[change | change source]

Smith's response was not supported by many celebrities, although some supported his actions as a defense of his wife. Others criticized Rock's joke and Smith's reaction.[7][8] The uncensored version of the event went on YouTube had over 69 million views within 24 hours, becoming one of the most-viewed online videos in the first 24 hours.[9]

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences criticized Smith's actions and announcing a formal review the next day.[10] When the event happened, the Academy thought about removing Smith from the Oscars broadcast, but decided against it.[11] Chris Rock, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, did not want to press charges against Smith.[12] SAG-AFTRA also said they did not support Smith's actions and began working with the Academy to see how Smith should be punished.[13][14][15] On April 8, the Academy said that Smith will be banned from attending any Academy Award-event for the next ten years.[16]

Smith's apology[change | change source]

After the public and celebrities criticized Smith, he apologized the next day calling his actions "unacceptable" and "inexcusable".[17][18] He later apologized to Rock saying "I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong".[19] He later said he was embarrassed of his actions and that he was wrong to react violently.[20] On April 1, Smith resigned his membership from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and said he would support any punishment by the academy.[21]

References[change | change source]

  1. "'Violence instead of words': Will Smith condemned for hitting Chris Rock at the Oscars". the Guardian. March 28, 2022. Archived from the original on March 28, 2022. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  2. Freeman, Mike. "What Chris Rock did was disgraceful, but Will Smith's violent act was worse | Opinion". USA TODAY. Archived from the original on 2022-03-29. Retrieved 2022-03-29.
  3. "Archived copy". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on 2022-03-29. Retrieved 2022-03-29.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. Nast, Condé (March 28, 2022). "Will Smith had every right to be angry, but his response to Chris Rock was a chivalrous act loaded with toxic masculinity". Glamour UK. Archived from the original on March 29, 2022. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  5. Nast, Condé (March 28, 2022). "What It Felt Like in the Room When Will Smith Slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars". The New Yorker. Archived from the original on March 28, 2022. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  6. "Watch the uncensored moment Will Smith smacks Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars, drops F-bomb". Archived from the original on 2022-03-29. Retrieved 2022-03-29 – via www.youtube.com.
  7. "Drake, 50 Cent, Nicki Minaj, Tiffany Haddish, and More React to Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock at Oscars". Complex. Archived from the original on 2022-03-29. Retrieved 2022-03-29.
  8. Ryan, Jordan Mendoza and Patrick. "Tiffany Haddish, Nicki Minaj, Whoopi Goldberg debate the Will Smith, Chris Rock Oscars incident". USA TODAY. Archived from the original on 2022-03-28. Retrieved 2022-03-29.
  9. "Watch the uncensored moment Will Smith smacks Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars, drops F-bomb". The Guardian. YouTube. March 29, 2022. Archived from the original on 2022-03-29.
  10. Nast, Condé (March 28, 2022). "Academy Condemns Will Smith Slap, Will "Explore Further Action" in Investigation". Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on March 29, 2022. Retrieved March 29, 2022.
  11. Melas, Chloe. "Academy 'condemns' actions of Will Smith at Oscars, starts 'formal review' of slapping incident". CNN. Archived from the original on 2022-03-29. Retrieved 2022-03-29.
  12. Boom, Daniel Van. "Chris Rock Isn't Pressing Charges Against Will Smith for Oscars Slap". CNET. Archived from the original on 2022-03-29. Retrieved 2022-03-29.
  13. Robb, David. "SAG-AFTRA Condemns Will Smith's "Unacceptable" Oscar Slap On Chris Rock". Deadline. Archived from the original on March 28, 2022. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
  14. Brian, Welk. "SAG-AFTRA Denounces Will Smith's 'Unacceptable' Assault on Chris Rock at Oscars, Hints at Disciplinary Action". www.yahoo.com. Archived from the original on March 29, 2022. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
  15. Patten, Dominic; Complex, Valerie (30 March 2022). "Will Smith, Chris Rock Incident "Will Take A Few Weeks" To Probe Says Academy In Letter To Members". Deadline. Archived from the original on March 30, 2022. Retrieved 30 March 2022.
  16. "Will Smith banned from Oscars for 10 years over slap". BBC News. 2022-04-08. Archived from the original on April 8, 2022. Retrieved 2022-04-08.
  17. More •, Maggie. "Read Will Smith's Apology for Slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars: Full Text". NBC New York. Retrieved 2022-03-30.
  18. CNN, Sandra Gonzalez. "Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock". CNN. Retrieved 2022-03-30.
  19. Shafer, Ellise (28 March 2022). "Will Smith Apologizes to Chris Rock for Oscars Slap: 'I Was Out of Line and I Was Wrong'". Variety. Archived from the original on March 28, 2022. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
  20. Arkin, Daniel. "Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock for slapping him at the Academy Awards". NBC News. Archived from the original on March 29, 2022. Retrieved 28 March 2022.
  21. Tangcay, Jazz; Tangcay, Jazz (2022-04-02). "Here's What Will Smith's Resignation From the Academy Means". Variety. Retrieved 2022-04-02.