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Will Smith’s Chris Rock Slap: What People Are Saying

Everyone’s talking about the latest Oscars hit, and it has nothing to do with a movie.

While presenting the Academy Award for best documentary feature on Sunday night (March 27), Chris Rock did what he’s paid to do, by throwing some jokes out at the celebrities in the audience.

One of those was a quip to Jada Pinkett-Smith: “Jada I love you, G.I Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,” seemingly referring to the actress’ alopecia, which she has been open about in interviews.

In a moment that will surely rank high among the most bizarre spectacles at an Oscars, Will Smith strolled onto stage and appeared to slap Rock with an open hand. Rock, attempting to keep his cool, delivered some shaky lines. Smith kept the beef going from his seat, by yelling at Rock, “keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth.”

LaLa Land can always be relied on to give us the unexpected when we least expect it. Will Smith’s smackdown was just that, lighting up social media as millions around the globe tried to figure out what just happened.

It did happen, and Smith later apologized during a teary acceptance speech at the Academy Awards Sunday (March 27) when he collected the best actor award for his portray of Venus and Serena Williams’ dad Richard Williams in King Richard, his first gold statuette.

“I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to my fellow nominees,” he said with wet eyes, though notably failing to mention Rock directly.

Yes, anything can happen in Hollywood.

Smith’s slap resonated around the world. Check out some of the comments from gobsmacked celebs, who turned to social media and weighed in on a truly strange Oscars moment.

Physically assault someone over a hair joke? A fuckin’ HAIR JOKE???? I’d be in my 37th year in prison.

— Richard Marx (@richardmarx) March 28, 2022

I like Oscar winners who don’t slap comedians across the face over a joke.

— Richard Marx (@richardmarx) March 28, 2022

Let me tell you something, it’s a very bad practice to walk up on stage and physically assault a Comedian.
Now we all have to worry about who wants to be the next Will Smith in comedy clubs and theaters.

— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) March 28, 2022

Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty must be texting like mad right now.

— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) March 28, 2022

Serious question: Is Will Smith going to be charged with assault? Because that was assault. #Oscars

— George Hahn (@georgehahn) March 28, 2022

Not justified. Not normal. Not cool. Not at all. That was assault.

— George Hahn (@georgehahn) March 28, 2022

Getting really bored with high profile people avoiding consequences because they’re high profile people.

— George Hahn (@georgehahn) March 28, 2022

Will Smith’s assault on Chris Rock may easily inspire the impulse of a drunk steak head in a comedy club to walk up to the stage and pop a stand-up comic because he didn’t like a joke. A hyper-toxic powder keg moment that validates horrible behavior.

— George Hahn (@georgehahn) March 28, 2022

Violence isn’t ok. Assault is never the answer. Also? This is the 2nd time that Chris has made fun of Jada on the #Oscars stage, & tonight he went after her alopecia. Punching down at someone’s auto-immune disease is wrong. Doing so on purpose is cruel. They both need a breather.

— Sophia Bush (@SophiaBush) March 28, 2022

Anyone who thinks this was staged has never seen Chris Rock act.

— Michael Harriot (@michaelharriot) March 28, 2022