Did Will Smith REALLY slap Chris Rock at Oscars 2022? Shocked Internet asks 'WTF just happened?'
A viral video from the Academy Awards has viewers wondering if Smith really hit Rock, or if it was all an act, after a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith
The 2022 Academy Awards sure have been filled with drama. No, we aren't talking about surprise wins, but rather what appeared to be an altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock. During the ceremony on Sunday night, March 27, viewers were left stunned after Smith walked onto the stage and slapped Rock after the latter made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith. The video is now going viral, as people are left to wonder, was it real?
While Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenkskyy didn't end up making an appearance, there was still plenty to talk about from the awards ceremony. Ariana DeBose making history by becoming the first openly queer woman of color to win an Oscar, for her performance in 'West Side Story'. There was also quite a lot of discussion on the opening monologue from Regina Hall, Wanda Sykes, and Amy Schumer, with many fans being let down and calling it "the worst ever".
If you were one of the many disappointed by the monologue, at least you had something interesting to watch in the form of Smith's beef with Rock. The big question though, is whether it was scripted or real?
Did Will Smith really hit Chris Rock?
Rock was on stage to present the award for Best Documentary Film when he decided to poke fun at Jada's shaved head. It isn't an actual style choice, but because Jada is suffering from an autoimmune disease, but nonetheless Rock thought it was fair game during his speech. He joked she could star in "G.I. Jane", and Smith didn't take too kindly to that joke. He walked onto the stage, slapped Rock in the face, and walked back to his seat. "Keep my wife's name out of your f-----g mouth," he then yelled at Rock.
According to Variety, Smith’s publicist Meredith O Sullivan had a discussion with the actor during the commercial break. She wasn't the only one. Rebecca Ford and Denzel Washington also pulled the actor aside for a word during the break. When the show resumed, Smith was seen kneeling with his arm around his wife. Meanwhile, in the lobby, people huddled around their phones watching replays of the incident. “I don’t think that’s a joke,” one woman said. Two others added, “Look, we went to rehearsals, and that was not in Chris Rock’s script."
Rock quickly seemed to laugh off the incident, saying "Oh wow... wow. Will Smith just smacked the s--t out of me." Clearly, the moment wasn't planned and could be a first for the Oscars. an Academy librarian confirmed for Joy Press that, to their knowledge, there had never been real violence onstage at the Oscars. So naturally, the Internet got to talking about the incident. Here's an uncensored version of the exchange:
VIA JAPANESE TELEVISION: The uncensored exchange between Will Smith and Chris Rock pic.twitter.com/j0Z184ZyXa— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 28, 2022
'Will Smith should be ashamed'
"Lmaoooo wait a mintue. Will Smith slapped the s--t out of Chris Rock," one user laughed. Another joked, "Will Smith smacking Chris Rock and QuestLove winning an Oscar are the two most back to back Philly things to ever happen at the Oscars." A third tweeted, "WAYMENT. I cannot tell if this moment was real or wtf just happened between Will Smith and Chris Rock." Another user uploaded a still from Spongebob with the caption, "The audience after will smith slapped chris rock."
Will Smith smacking Chris Rock and QuestLove winning an Oscar are the two most back to back Philly things to ever happen at the Oscars.— Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta (@malcolmkenyatta) March 28, 2022
"Will smith has all that energy for chris rock but not the nigga F-----G his wife??" one user asked. Another person slammed Smith, tweeting, "I just saw the RAW footage. @willsmith should be ashamed of his damn self. It was a G.I. Jane joke. Total B.S. If it were @TheRock or someone like that instead of @chrisrock would he have done that shit!" A third user said, "This violence is gross and toxic. You can show anger using your words. If Chris Rock were a woman, Will Smith would be arrested. Shameful."
will smith has all that energy for chris rock but not the nigga FUCKING his wife??— Corn͏ 🌟 (@cornskiii) March 28, 2022
I just saw the RAW footage. @willsmith should be ashamed of his damn self. It was a G.I. Jane joke. Total B.S. If it were @TheRock or someone like that instead of @chrisrock would he have done that shit!— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) March 28, 2022
This violence is gross and toxic. You can show anger using your words. If Chris Rock were a woman, Will Smith would be arrested. Shameful. https://t.co/7WI2kLhqIn— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) March 28, 2022