It’s been a while since the 94th Academy Awards was shaken up by the Chris Rock-Will Smith incident which is now being widely dubbed as the “Oscars slapgate”. But the resounding physical act of violence still cuts deep and hits a raw nerve for many. Even though Chris Rock was quick to counter with his comedic arsenal, no manner of apology or mockery of the situation diminishes the impact left in its aftermath.
The Social Implications of Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock
A physical act of one person slapping another one was committed with a finality. The momentary “lapse of judgment” on Will Smith‘s part didn’t just set back decades of the progress of civility among men but advocated a culture of violence.
The manner of retaliation enacted out live in front of millions of people on a platform as widely respected as the Oscars was not only shocking but also disappointing, especially for those who long considered Will Smith a venerated member of Hollywood. But for those like DJ Jazzy Jeff, Smith is only human. In response, Michael Jai White essentially calls the Bad Boys For Life actor a bully when he claims,
“It’s not an excuse but I do understand the situation and the world that they start to build where you think whatever whims you have is justified. That’s just a by-product of power.”
Chris Rock Takes a Jab at the Oscars Slapgate Incident
During a Sunday show at the Arizona Financial Theatre in downtown Phoenix, there was a sold-out crowd waiting to hear the comedian’s response to the infamous 2022 Oscars incident. After making a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith‘s alopecia (by relating her look to that of G.I. Jane 2), Chris Rock had been hit by Will Smith who boldly walked up to him on stage, slapped him, and later repeatedly yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f**king mouth”.
Also read: 5 Reasons Why Chris Rock Rocks!
At the show, Rock had to be catalyzed to comment on the incident that he had long since claimed to have shaken off, claiming, “you don’t go to the hospital for a paper cut.” But when he was offered the gig of hosting the 95th Academy Awards, he declined. He then also rejected an offer of appearing in a Super Bowl ad. At the stand-up, Rock claimed that going back to host the 2023 Oscars would be similar to asking O.J.Simpson’s late wife Nicole Brown Simpson “to go back to the restaurant.”
Chris Rock added, “He’s bigger than me. The state of Nevada would not sanction a fight between me and Will Smith”, referencing the actor’s performance as the legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali, in the 2001 biopic Ali which had awarded Smith his first Oscar nomination.
Source: Arizona Republic