The Academy Awards: Smith v. Rock

The talk of the nation, comedian Chris Rock gets “slapped” by actor, Will Smith, after a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.


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Keirra McGoldrick, Staff Writer

The 94th annual Academy Awards (“The Oscars”) took place on Sunday, March 27, and was definitely a night to remember. After a joke was made about actor Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, by comedian Chris Rock, Smith took it upon himself to “protect his family” and physically assault Rock, going against everything he’s ever stood for.

What Smith did was unnecessary and unprofessional but it is understood by many why he did what he did. He was “protecting” his family, as said by Smith during his Best Actor acceptance speech.

Pinkett Smith was diagnosed with Alopecia about four years ago and caused her to shave her hair off. Alopecia can be defined as “…a miscommunication among the immune system…” It also attacks the hair follicles and causes the hair to fall out and cease to grow, causing baldness. And even though she looks great, many criticize and make fun of her, just like Rock.

The joke made by Rock was “Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it” causing the audience to laugh, including Smith. Pinkett Smith rolled her eyes and within the blink of an eye, Smith was onstage hitting Rock in the face and shouting profanities at the comedian yelling twice “Keep my wife’s name out [of] your f—ing mouth” shocking the world. The microphones were cut off but everyone could still hear what was said very well.

Rock handled the moment very professionally, but not without confusion and shock. He simply continued on with announcing the next award. Even though he handled it well, he never should have made that joke in the first place, especially because she shaved her head because of a disease.

Less than an hour later, Smith won the award for ‘Best Actor and during his six-minute-long acceptance, he apologized to the academy and made a joke about how he looks like the “crazy father” like the one he portrayed in the movie King Richard. Smith said “Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.” During the speech, Smith started crying and said “This is a beautiful moment and I’m not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me, it’s about being able to shine a lot on all the people”.

Many took to social media with their thoughts on the situation. Some think it was a publicity stunt of some sort and honestly it makes sense. The way the cameras were placed and as Smith was walking up to hit Rock, it looked like he was preparing for it. But I believe that he did actually hit him and was in the right for it. Granted it should have gone differently, but it makes sense why he did it.