Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock Sunday night at the 94th Academy Awards ceremony and everyone, including conservatives, has an opinion.
While Oscars ratings have been cratering for years, the jaw-dropping moment finally has America paying attention.
Smith stunned the crowd in attendance, TV viewers and the internet by smacking Rock while the comedian was presenting the Oscar for documentary feature.
— Movies (@moreoffilms) March 28, 2022
Just before the altercation, Rock made a joke about the shaved head of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith.
- Jada Pinkett-Smith has been open in the past about her struggles with alopecia.
- Following the exchange with Rock, Will Smith returned to his seat and yelled: “Keep my wife’s name out of your f*cking mouth!”
- During a commercial break, actors Tyler Perry, Denzel Washington and Bradley Cooper could be seen appearing to comfort Smith, who wiped away tears.
Americans were deeply divided in their reactions to the slap heard around the world.
THE LIBERALS: Democratic Reps. Jamaal Bowman of New York and Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts joined a few of their fellow liberals in tweeting out defenses of Smith’s actions. Both Bowman and Pressley eventually deleted their tweets.
— Grace Panetta (@grace_panetta) March 28, 2022
THE CONSERVATIVES: Many on the right reacted by criticizing Smith, and his alternative lifestyle.
What are the chances Will Smith is a broken man from his wife very publicly having other partners
— Mairead Elordi (@JohnsonHildy) March 28, 2022
THE WAY OUT THERE: Sonya Renee Taylor, a social justice activist and poet, suggested “white supremacist delusion” might have played a role in the incident.
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Smith would go on to win the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in “King Richard,” a dramatization of the life of Richard Williams, father to tennis superstars Venus and Serena Williams.
- “Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” he said during his acceptance speech.
- Smith also said he wanted to be an ambassador for “love and care and concern” and apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees.
The Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement that Rock would not be pressing charges against Smith.