They are calling it ‘the slap that was heard around the world.”
Earlier today, actor Will Smith won the Best Actor Oscar for his role in the movie “King Richard”. However, in one of the greatest acts of self-sabotage in the history of Hollywood, no one is talking about his win. Everyone is talking about what Will Smith did about an hour before he picked up his Oscar.
About halfway through the show, comedian Chris Rock went on stage to present an Oscar and made an off-colour joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Rock joked that Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia, should star in a “G.I. Jane” sequel due to her bald head. The audience laughed. Will Smith laughed. Pinkett Smith did not and rolled her eyes. Then, Will Smith storm onto the stage and slapped Chris Rock.
Rock was visibly stunned while Smith went back to his seat and yelled at Rock to Pinkett Smith’s name out of his mouth. Rock tried to defend himself by saying it was a ‘G.I. Jane’ joke. Smith then repeated himself, which Rock replied by telling the audience “That was the greatest night in the history of television.” He smiled to the camera, handed over the best documentary prize, which was the reason he was on stage, and moved off the stage.
Now, stand-up comedians are usually adept at handling hecklers, but I don’t think anyone expected Will Smith to react the way he did. In fact, I didn’t think the joke was all that offensive. It wasn’t funny, it was off-colour but there were far more offensive jokes said at the award show. If you don’t believe me, just look up Amy Schumer’s joke on Leonardo DiCaprio and his girlfriends. That was far worse.
So, I must say this. Chris Rock is a pro. He handled the matter like a total professional and kept the award show going. A different person would have handled the matter differently and caused the whole show to come crashing down. Chris Rock did not. Rock came out of the whole thing looking like the most mature person in the whole affair. Chris Rock!
Now, that is history-making.