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How Hollywood Stars Reacted To Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock At Oscars 2022

Hollywood stars and celebrities share their reactions to actor Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock on live TV during the 2022 Oscars telecast.

Hollywood stars have mixed reactions to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars. Rock took the stage to present the award for Best Documentary, making a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s shaved head, saying that he can’t wait to see her in G.I. Jane 2 (as actress Demi Moore had a shaved head in the film G.I. Jane). Pinkett-Smith has been vocal about her struggles with alopecia, a hair loss condition. Smith took umbrage to Rock’s joke, approaching the stage, walking up to Rock, and slapping him across the face before making his way back to his seat, yelling at the comedian, “Keep my wife’s name out your f*cking mouth!”

Many speculated the exchange was staged, but the reactions from both Smith and Rock, particularly after the slap, proved to be genuine. Rock pleaded that it was a joke, while an angry Smith reiterated for Rock not to mention his wife again. Rock continued with the presentation without incident. Less than ten minutes later, Smith won the Best Actor award for his performance in King Richard, taking the stage himself and giving an emotional, tear-filled speech. He apologized to The Academy for the slap, but not to Rock, saying, “Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said… just like they said about Richard Williams. Love will make you do crazy things.”

Fellow nominees and attendees at the Oscars ceremony reacted to the exchange, many offering support in-between commercial breaks to Smith, who returned to his seat and stayed throughout the rest of the broadcast as if nothing had happened. The altercation caused a stir of mixed reactions throughout Hollywood, as stars and celebrities reacted later in the evening and well into the next day, offering up their feelings of approval, disapproval, and downright shock at the surreal moment. Check out some of the mixed reactions from Hollywood below:

Howard Stern (via Mediaite):

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. He decided he’s going to take matters into his own hands. At a time when the world is at war. Bad timing, man. Calm your f*cking ass down.

Whoopi Goldberg (via New York Post)

I think he overreacted. I would’ve been a little annoyed. I think he had one of those moments where it was just like, ‘G-D it. Just stop.’ And you’ve got all the pressure of hoping that you’re going to win and trying to keep your face. I get it. Not everybody acts the way we would like them to under pressure. Some people just snap. He snapped. What I do want to say was that it was remarkable, wonderful, that Chris Rock did not take it to that other place it could’ve gone. I don’t know if they spoke or apologized or not. All I know is sometimes you get to a point where you behave badly. I myself have behaved badly on occasion.

Tiffany Haddish (via People)

When I saw a Black man stand up for his wife. That meant so much to me. As a woman, who has been unprotected, for someone to say, ‘Keep my wife’s name out your mouth, leave my wife alone,’ that’s what your husband is supposed to do, right? Protect you. And that meant the world to me. And maybe the world might not like how it went down, but for me, it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen because it made me believe that there are still men out there that love and care about their women, their wives. And that’s their friend. As a friend, why would you do that? He didn’t even run the joke by her, but she was hurt, though. If she wouldn’t have been hurt, he probably wouldn’t have said nothing. But you could see he was clearly … And they exploited it. They exploited her, so … He protected his wife. To me, I went up to her and said, ‘You better suck his dick from the back, girl!’ You better put that in your magazine! That’s what I told her.

Janet Hubert (Aunt Viv in Fresh Prince) (via TV Line)

There is only so much one can take… sometimes you have to slap back. Celebrate the win… nothing else matters. Both actions were incorrect but Chris didn’t need to go there. Met him once… it was enough for me… very mean spirited.

It’s been reported that The Academy had emergency Zoom meetings over the incident before issuing a statement saying they “do not condone violence of any form.” However, discussions are said to be taking place regarding how to handle the situation, including whether to strip Smith of his Oscar for breaking the new code of conduct rules for Academy members, nominees, and attendees. It’s unclear what, if any, action will be taken. Rock told the Los Angeles Police Department that he does not want to press charges against Smith but has otherwise remained tight-lipped about the incident.

Hollywood will undoubtedly have its take on the fiasco, while moviegoers and fans will also have theirs. For many, seeing a beloved celebrity slap someone for making a bad joke is seen as bad behavior that sets a poor precedent, while others may see it as a justified action for an insult. Still, it raises legitimate questions about what should and shouldn’t be accepted in society, especially when using violence to solve disputes. Ultimately, audiences will make up their minds about how they react to Will Smith’s actions, which could positively or negatively affect the actor’s career in the future.

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