While there was plenty to talk about Monday’s post-Academy Awards, very few actually discussed the topic. CODAThe Oscar was won by ‘Best Picture’ for its film, starring Will Smith. Rather it was actor Will Smith – who went on to win Best Actor for his role in King Richard – and his open-hand slap on the face of comedian Chris Rock that was the talk of Tinsel Town and beyond.
The incident occurred after Rock, who was introducing the award for Best Documentary, made a joke at the expense of Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith – seated in the front row.
“Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2,Rock exclaimed, “I cannot wait to meet you.”
Smith looked fine and even laughed, although Pinkett Smith was clearly annoyed at the joke. Actress Pinkett Smith, 50, has the autoimmune disorder Alopecia. This affects hair follicles and causes hair loss.
Pinkett Smith is open about this issue in his Instagram posts.
It’s Slap Time
Rock was completing his introduction when Smith entered the room and began to smack Rock. Smith then joined Smith in an exchange that ended with Smith returning to his seat. Smith tried to apologize later after winning Best Actor but made no mention of Rock.
Smith stated, “Love can make you do insane things.” He also said that to do the same, one must be willing to suffer abuse. It is necessary to allow people to rave about your character. You must be able and willing to let people down in this industry. And you got to smile, you got to pretend like that’s okay.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMMA) announced Monday that it has launched a formal review.
According to a spokesperson, the Academy “condemns Mr. Smith’s conduct at last night’s program.” We have begun a formal investigation into the incident. This review will examine further actions and possible consequences, in compliance with California’s law and our Standards of Conduct.
Social media reacted strongly
Will Smith, Chris Rock and other trending topics were present throughout Monday. Many people have shared clips from the event across social networks, even those who weren’t able to tune in for Sunday’s ceremonies. A clip uncensored from Australian television had been viewed nearly 37,000,000 times as of Monday afternoon.
Another clip – also uncensored – from Japanese TV was seen almost 54 million times.
Michael Rapaport, comedian and actor, tweeted about the event, saying, “If Ben Affleck punched Jerry Seinfeld how would that happen?”
What is a Staged Event?
What was particularly noteworthy was also the reaction from so many on social media – with users siding with Rock while others suggested that Smith was simply defending his wife. There were many who tried to analyse the videos. Some even suggested that it was staged in order to make “Oscar drama”.
“Staged. SLO mo. Rock is smiling, with his feet crossed, and arms folded behind him. What would you do if a man approached in an unpredictable way? You don’t know what’s up. @Tracydr12 shared this slow-motion clip and suggested that the ‘hit is a sidehand ‘chop.
Gillian McKeith, TV Presenter (@GillianMcKeith), offered her take on the subject: “Staged?”
Many memes were created that reference Rock’s show. Everybody hates ChrisThis includes pointing out past marital problems of the Smiths.
Another clip from Fox. Family GuyAlso, Monday saw a lot of people making fun of an event that was not really funny.