4 days ago, for the 94th time, the Oscars were awarded. While the show has often been labelled “boring and predictable” in recent years, Will Smith delivered one of the most talked-about moments in Oscars history. The actor punched comedian Chris Rock on stage after a misplaced joke about Will’s wife Jada Pinkett-Smith.
Leading up to the award, Chris joked that Will Smith’s hairdo’s wife is the perfect lead actress for a sequel to GI Jane. In the 1997 film, actress Demi Moore shaved her head to portray the role of GI Jane. The joke apparently went wrong with Will, as his wife suffers from the condition alopecia and therefore struggles with hair loss. After the joke, he walked on stage and punched the Oscar host in the face.
For a moment, those present thought that the blow was part of the show, but it soon became clear that Will was not happy with the joke. “It was just a joke about GI Jane ,” Chris said, to which Will replied, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.” The comedian complied with Will’s demand and then proceeded with the award ceremony.
The high-profile moment not only caused shocked reactions in the audience but also among viewers at home. For example, many find Chris Rock’s joke insensitive, because Jada Pinkett-Smith suffers from a condition that she can do nothing about. Others think Will Smith went too far.
— LORRAKON (@LORRAKON) March 28, 2022
Several fellow actors, including Daniel Kaluuya, Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry, spoke to Will to calm him down. Later that evening, Will won the Best Actor award for his role in the film King Richard. During his speech on stage, the emotional actor apologized for what had happened earlier. However, it is still unclear whether he has spoken to Chris Rock.
There are TWO ways Will Smith could’ve handled Chris Rock after his joke.
1. Accept your Oscar award, during the speech WARN him very sternly to stop talking about your wife. Wash him.
2. Knock him out OUTSIDE the awards hall, street style.
DONT do it at the Oscars/Live TV!
— Cyrus Tha Virus (@Cyrus_ThaVirus) March 28, 2022
I sympathize with Will, from Tupac dating his wife and to many more entanglement his wife had with many people, and with this Chris rock joke at the Oscars, honestly, I sympathize with Will smith, he's a strong man…
— 👑ADEGBOYEGA (@Bernardiho75) March 28, 2022
Will Smith, by using physical assault, your voice to defend your wife’s name has been lost in translation and instead Chris Rock becomes the victim. I hope Chris sues you #NOTokay
— MirrorMirror on the wall (@MirrormirrorW) March 28, 2022
Chris Rock made an insensitive and offensive joke about someone close to Will Smith who suffers from Alopecia (which is an autoimmune disorder). It was ableist as fuck. Also since it's likely to be the main excuse, not knowing is not a valid excuse. Jokes that punch down are shit
— Drew the Dork (@drewisadork) March 28, 2022
Film journalist Robert Blokland spoke with Fernando in Start about the high-profile moment during the award ceremony. According to Blokland, it has become increasingly common in recent years that hard jokes are made during award ceremonies such as the Oscars and the Golden Globes. Despite this, it seemed that Jada was visibly hurt by Chris Rock’s prank. “You could see from her look that she really thought: I don’t like that attention is drawn to me. Of course, it is also not nice that you lose your hair at 50. I understand that it is very painful, but at the same time, there are also jokes about other actors. Everyone gets their turn sometimes.”
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