The 94th Academy Awards ceremony released just two days ago, and it seems that you can’t turn anywhere without seeing an article or reference to the controversial Will Smith slap incident.
There has been quite a lot of development since the shocking act of violence occurred on March 27th, with apology statements, official statements, and celebrity tweets coming to surface.
To provide some clarity, the incident which occurred during the ceremony’s opening speech involved presenter and comedian Chris Rock making a joke at the expense of Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
The joke in question references Pinkett Smith’s shaven head which is due to her Alopecia medical condition.
In response to this, Will Smith then proceeded to move towards Rock and hit him in the face, after which he sat back in his seat and yelled the words: “Get my wife’s name out your f****ng mouth!”
The moment stunned audiences everywhere and has since gained mass media traction across the globe, with spectators and celebrities voicing their opinions on the incident.
Smith then went on to win the academy award for Best Actor for his role in King Richard and then referenced the incident in his acceptance speech, apologising to the academy for his violent action by saying: “I want to apologise to the academy. I want to apologise to all my fellow nominees.”
The slap has divided online users everywhere, with some believing Smith’s actions to be an inexcusable act of violence, and other’s praising him for coming to his wife’s aid.
— The Hill (@thehill) March 29, 2022
Celebrities such as Judd Apatow and Tiffany Haddish took to Twitter to voice their opinions, with Apatow stating Smith: “could have killed him (Rock). That’s pure out of rage and violence” and Haddish commenting: “It made me believe there are still men out there that love and care about their women, their wives.”
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s relationship has been a hot topic for news in recent years due to their relationship involving other sexual relationships outside of their marriage.
Pinkett Smith’s representatives had recently denied allegations of her previously being in a relationship with rapper August Alsina with the consent of Will Smith, however, it was later confirmed by Pinkett Smith that they were involved in an “entanglement”, albeit without the consent of Smith.
The following morning of the slap incident, the official Academy Twitter page had released the statement: “The Academy does not condone violence of any form.”
Despite this, Smith did not lose his academy award.
A public apology was later released by Smith a day after the ceremony including the statement: “My behaviour at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.”
Pinkett Smith then went on to release a cryptic Twitter post later on which states: “This is a season for healing and I’m here for it.”
The Academy have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequence in accordance with their bylaws, standards of conduct and California law.
Rock has decided not to press charges against Smith for the attack.
By Adam Eaton
Feature image: Robert Gauthier/Los Angeles Times