Was Will Smith right to Slap Chris Rock at Oscars?

In a shocking moment from the 94th Academy Awards, Will Smith slapped Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

Was Will Smith right to Slap Chris Rock at Oscars? - f

“Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.”

Will Smith slapped Chris Rock and shouted profanity at the comedian at the Oscars ceremony.

Minutes later, when accepting the Oscar for best actor for his role in King Richard, Will apologised to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and his fellow nominees but not to Chris.

The episode with Chris at first appeared to be a scripted joke but turned serious when Will shouted out:

“Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.”

The audio from the show, broadcast on a time delay of a few seconds in the United States, appeared to have been cut from the live transmission for many viewers because of the language.

Chris Rock was roasting some of the nominees and, after mentioning Will, said of his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith:

“Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane II, can’t wait to see it.”

Moments later, Will walked on stage toward Chris, who had his hands behind his back when Will threw an open hand at his face that produced an audible smack.

As the audience laughed, thinking it was a skit, Chris said: “Oh, wow! Wow! Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of me.”

Chris added: “Wow, dude. It was a G.I. Jane joke,” referencing the 1997 film G.I. Jane in which Demi Moore shaved her head.

Jada Pinkett Smith told Billboard in December 2021 she has been battling the autoimmune disorder alopecia, which can cause hair loss and balding.

The audience initially thought Will’s indignation was feigned, part of the act.

It was only after he returned to his seat and shouted that the audience went silent.

The internet has been flooded with all kinds of reactions from all over the world.

Bollywood celebrities, too, took to their respective social media handles and reacted to the viral incident.

Varun Dhawan shared the clip on his Instagram Story and wrote: “Wow didn’t expect that also @chrisrock has a chin.”

Neetu Kapoor shared a picture of the moment on her Instagram Story. She wrote: “And they say women can never control their emotions.”

Richa Chadha took a dig at the incident and invited her Instagram followers to share memes.

Referencing her new reality show Lock Upp, Kangana Ranaut took to Instagram and wrote:

“If some idiot used my mom or sister’s illness to make a bunch of fools laugh, I would slap him as Will Smith did.

“Badass move, hope he comes to my lockup.”

Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi, argued that punching people was acceptable to make them more sensitive:

“That punch will at least get people to be more sensitive about alopecia rather than making tasteless and insensitive jokes about it. Not just a TV moment.”

Radio Mirchi presenter Sayema thanked Will saying, “Sometimes, a punch is needed in the face, to tell that some jokes are not okay!”

She later deleted her previous Tweet, only to tweet again that she does not support violence.

She said that Will “should have made a point without a punch.

“It was important for him to register an objection but in a different way. Violence is not the answer to anything! Period.”

Whilst some showed support for Will’s response, others criticised the actor for exhibiting ‘toxic masculinity’ for the assault.

Adrija Bose added that Jada did not need Will to defend her.

In a Tweet, the journalist wrote: “Watch the moment when Chris Rock cracks the ‘joke’ on Jada Pinkett – SHE ROLLS HER EYES, probably upset or thinking “so lame”.

“Will Smith laughs. The next moment, he goes and slaps Chris Rock.

“I am just here to inform: women can fight their own battles.”

Sophie Choudry shared her reaction on Twitter, writing: “Violence is never the way but cracking jokes about someone’s medical condition should not be acceptable either.

“This was supposed to be a career-high for one of my favourite artists for a superb performance. Instead, he’ll be remembered for this crazy incident.”

Many actors in the ceremony looked stunned by the altercation as it was a very unexpected reaction.

The 94th Academy Awards took place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on March 27, 2022.

Ravinder is a Journalism BA graduate. She has a strong passion for all things fashion, beauty, and lifestyle. She also likes to watch films, read books and travel.