The 2022 Oscars has the internet buzzing, and no, it has nothing to do with Dune sweeping a ton of awards, the historic win of Ariana DeBose, nor the live performance of Encanto’s ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’. In fact, it was because of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock onstage after the latter joked at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
Following the Smith-Rock incident, viewers from all across the world were highly entertained and took to Twitter to express their amusement.
Some Twitter users expressed their disbelief over what had happened, thinking about whether the whole incident was scripted or not. One user wrote: “Will Smith is worthy of an oscar because I still don’t know if that outburst was real or scripted.”
Another one tweeted: “All of us trying to figure out if that Will Smith and Chris Rock tussle was scripted or not.”
One user also said: “NAH I THOUGHT THAT SH*T MIGHT’VE BEEN SCRIPTED BUT WILL SMITH WAS DEAD*SS. THIS SH*T CRAZY.”
Actresses Lupita Nyong’o and Nicole Kidman also went viral because of their reactions to the incident, both of which perfectly described what everyone felt during that time.
POV: you're Chris Rock pic.twitter.com/KaPnepazCm
— Dark prince of gaming 🍥 (@MechEmpanada) March 28, 2022
— ・ﾟDK ☆ (@aundrearunway) March 28, 2022
will and chris left lupita shook pic.twitter.com/ngviZKree3
— chynna | (taylor’s version) (@lorelaiswiftt) March 28, 2022
Lupita Nyong’s reaction to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock in 4 stages:
1. This is a funny sketch
2. Why is he screaming
3. Oh shit he’s being serious
4. Act normal pic.twitter.com/V3lHrbeiGL
— Jamie B (@JamieBolton) March 28, 2022
— matt murdocks gf ♡ (@omgmattmurdock) March 28, 2022
— 🖤 Erin 🖤 RIP Taylor Hawkins 🖤 (@parothed19741) March 28, 2022
— Joe (@onlyjoekin_) March 28, 2022
People online were also quick to poke fun and make memes out of the whole fiasco.
Will Smith used an open hand on Chris Rock because paper beats rock 😭 pic.twitter.com/f8WvHSM5YM
— Derrick (@uxderrick) March 28, 2022
Will Smith laughing Will Smith after
at the joke seeing Jada’s
— Koopcomp (@TrickyTeun) March 28, 2022
— Itslunchtimeee (@StonerStreamer) March 28, 2022
— Md Shams Aghaz (@the__shams__06) March 28, 2022
— Zero Chills (@Nyaikae2) March 28, 2022
— THE. MASTERMIND03♔ (@LINEKELA_ON_I) March 28, 2022
— lethal aid (@twentytwentytoo) March 28, 2022
— Nilanjan Das (@technicarena_nd) March 28, 2022
— haleigh (@latte_shits) March 28, 2022
Batman? nah Will Smith pic.twitter.com/LTYUTVKz0A
— Luke Valente (@lvalente17) March 28, 2022
— freshletters (@freshletters1) March 28, 2022
Funny memes aside, there were some who also expressed their concern and called out both Smith and Rock.
If you haven’t heard much about what actually happened, here’s some context: Chris Rock had cracked a joke saying that he “couldn’t wait for the next G.I. Jane,” poking fun at Jada Pinkett Smith for being bald.
Right now the joke already sounds insensitive, but to add to that, here’s some more context: in 2018, Pinkett Smith was diagnosed with alopecia, which means she suffers from hair loss. With that in mind, Rock’s joke doesn’t sound too funny at all now, does it? Will Smith must have felt the same, hence his sudden move to slap Rock.
A case in point, actress Sophia Bush tweeted how both Smith and Rock “need a breather.” She tweeted: “Violence isn’t ok. Assault is never the answer. Also? This is the 2nd time that Chris has made fun of Jada on the #Oscars stage, & tonight he went after her alopecia. Punching down at someone’s auto-immune disease is wrong. Doing so on purpose is cruel. They both need a breather.”
Violence isn’t ok. Assault is never the answer. Also? This is the 2nd time that Chris has made fun of Jada on the #Oscars stage, & tonight he went after her alopecia. Punching down at someone’s auto-immune disease is wrong. Doing so on purpose is cruel. They both need a breather.
— Sophia Bush (@SophiaBush) March 28, 2022
Filipino content creator Inka Magnaye also expressed that while she understood where Smith was coming from, the King Richard actor “could have called Rock out from his seat.”
The take nobody asked for:
Will Smith’s intent to protect and defend his wife was quite noble, but he also could have called Rock out from his seat and he would have been heard even if he was off mic.
Taking violence to a public stage was done in the heat of the moment.
— Inka (@inkamagnaye) March 28, 2022
TV host and producer Daphne Oseña Paez tweeted that Smith’s action is “not what we need to see and celebrate.”
Will Smith says he wants to be a "vessel of love", "protector", "defender"… so violence is excused? It'll be analyzed, memed, imitated, condemned. With all the violence and intolerance going on in the world, this is not what we need to see& celebrate. #Oscars #willsmith https://t.co/dxGA11ktIs
— Daphne Oseña Paez (@DaphneOP) March 28, 2022
On the other hand, author and host Joy-Ann Reid hoped that both Smith and Rock could resolve the issue.
What should have been a night of celebration; with so many diverse nominees and presenters now has one, violent headline. Hopefully these two brothers will work it out, and everyone can move on.
— Joy-Ann (Pro-Democracy) Reid 😷 (@JoyAnnReid) March 28, 2022
Soon after the incident, Smith apologized to the Academy during his acceptance speech after winning Best Actor for the 2021 film King Richard, saying: “I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees.”
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reported that Rock declined to press charges against Smith.
The Academy also took to Twitter to address the incident, emphasizing that they “do not condone violence of any form.” /TV
The Academy does not condone violence of any form.
Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) March 28, 2022
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