Will Smith’s slap to Chris Rock’s face at the 94th Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday left everyone in the room and all over the internet in shock.
The on-stage confrontation took place in front of a live audience after Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, saying “Jada, I love you. ‘GI Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see you.” This remark was supposed to be a reference to her shaved head. But Smith did not find this funny, as his wife revealed back in 2018 that she has been battling alopecia, a medical condition that causes hair loss, according to NBC.
The joke prompted Smith to get up on stage, walk up to Rock, and slap him across the face, just after telling him “Keep my wife’s name out your f—–g mouth.”
And although the husband and wife pair seemed unhappy with the comment, many other celebrities at the event voiced their own opinions of the incident as well.
Actress Sophia Bush, condemned Smith’s actions on Twitter saying “Violence isn’t OK. Assault is never the answer.” However, she followed up by disproving of the initial joke made by Rock. “Punching down at someone’s auto-immune disease is wrong. Doing so on purpose is cruel,” Bush wrote.
Actress Jodie Turner-Smith followed suit with Bush, talking down on the violence and tweeting, “And as far as *that incident* goes….I am still processing. I have second hand embarrassment for all involved.”
However, some celebrities defended the violence and even poked fun at the situation.
Jada and Will Smith’s son, Jaden Smith tweeted right after the event, “And That’s How We Do It.” It was unclear what the tweet was exactly referencing but many on the internet are alleging that it is about the slap.
Rapper 50-cent posted a still image of the slap on Twitter to lighten up the tension between what just happened and wrote to his audience, “B—- don’t you ever play with me. LOL.”
Sports writer Bill Barnwell voiced his opinion on Twitter as well posing the idea, “Think about how famous you have to be to walk onto the stage at the Oscars, slap the presenter in the face, sit back down, curse loudly at him twice, and not get kicked out or stopped.” Barnwell seemed to be in favor of siding with Rock, condemning Smith’s violence.
Late night host Jimmy Kimmel tried to take attention off of the incident that occurred, and placing it upon the hosts of the Oscars, Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, and Regina Hall. “I know the big story is the slap, but congratulations to Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, and Regina Hall who were very funny — I hope that isn’t overshadowed by the unpleasantness,” he wrote on Twitter.
Celebrities aren’t the only ones voicing their opinion about what went down on the Oscars stage Sunday night. Viewers of the event also were quick to voice their own opinions online regarding the jaw-dropping moment.
In a tweet, one Twitter user named Sayna placed a picture into the heads of their Twitter followers. “Imagine getting slapped and that same person who slaps you wins an Oscar the same night, I would never show my face AGAIN,” the user wrote.
Another Twitter user questioned if the incident was staged, asking “Who says after they get assaulted, ‘wow, this is the greatest Oscar moment ever!’?” The user claimed to think that Rock expected the slap to play out when he made the initial comment.
But yet again, fans seem to ultimately frown upon the words that were taken too far Sunday night. One Twitter user bashed Rock stating that his comment was unnecessary. “Chris Rock is so washed up he can’t come up with new material. I didn’t know the Oscars was a Roast Of Jada Smith. Pretty sure the Smiths didn’t know they were attending a Roast too,” the user said. He also followed by stating that Rock is lucky it was only a slap, insinuating that Smith could have done a whole lot worse to Rock.
In an attempt to see both perspectives of the incident, Twitter user named Jenny took a neutral approach to what had occurred saying that this is “A reminder how different we are and what is a normal response to some, is unfathomable to others.” The user claimed to enjoy seeing other people’s opinions, no matter what their stance is.
The academy themselves had their own thoughts about the incident that took place on their stage. “The Academy does not condone violence of any form,” the Academy Awards stated on Twitter. The academy then turned its attention to focus on the winners of the night, who deserve recognition from those around them.
Smith later apologized to the film academy and to other nominees on stage during his acceptance speech for best actor for his role in “King Richard,” saying “Love will make you do crazy things.” During this time, he did not extend out an apology to Rock. Rock has not pressed any charges against Smith, MassLive previously reported.
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