Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock at the Oscars With Zero Consequences

Chris Rock took the stage at the 94th Annual Academy Awards to present the award for Best Documentary Feature and things did not go as planned. While looking at Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith, who were seated front and center, Rock made a bad joke about Jada’s bald head, saying, “Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see ya.” Though Smith initially laughed, Jada did not, and Smith then charged the stage and slapped Chris Rock, before sitting back down and yelling, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth!”…twice (uncensored video below).

Jada Pinkett Smith has alopecia, and she’s been honest about her insecurities surrounding the autoimmune disease.  It was a shockingly dated, bad, low-hanging-fruit joke for someone of Rock’s stature, but was it worthy of inspiring such ire? And to quote Howard Stern, “What the f— is going on because where’s security? This is a live television event. Not one person came out because he’s Will Smith. This is how Trump gets away with shit. Will Smith and Trump are the same guy.” See some other reactions below.

Will Smith’s own son, Jaden Smith, had a different reaction, saying, “And That’s How We Do It.”

If I were Will Smith, I’d be crying over the fact that my son — whom I’d hope he would try to set an example for — thinks violence is okay. If my father did something like this, I’d admonish him behind the scenes. People need to be checked, especially by their own family — especially by the younger generation that we hope would know better.

Others pointed out that Will Smith showed August Alsina — the man with whom is wife was having an affair with — way more grace than Chris Rock — a comedian whose joke did not land. Is it possible this is about more than the joke? Perhaps, to quote Nikki Glaser, Smith’s alleged open relationship with Pinkett Smith is taking its inevitable toll, and Smith is losing it. If I’m playing armchair psychologist, I think Smith’s very personal memoir kicked up dust on his childhood trauma, and he hasn’t recovered.

What we witnessed at the 94th Annual Academy Awards was an assault with no repercussions, because Will Smith is an A List star who is held to a different standard. When we ask how so many high-powered individuals got away with verbal abuse, sexual abuse, or physical abuse for so long inside the walls of Hollywood, just look to this event. In fact, Smith was allowed to accept his Oscar and therefore be given a platform to deliver an extremely damaging speech that justified his physical violence as “protecting his family.” The Oscars should be ashamed for not holding him accountable, in addition to their deplorable ceremony overall.

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