The Slap

The yearly Academy Awards, which are popularly known as the Oscars, are one of the most elegant and prestigious events in the film industry. Hundreds of well-known actors, directors, writers and a plethora of other talented individuals gather to celebrate the best of the best. This year, it was set to be one of the most highly anticipated. However, nothing could have prepared anyone for what happened at the event. When presenting the Best Documentary Award, Chris Rock, made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith. When referring to her hair loss due to alopecia, Chris compared her to G.I. Jane, a spin on the classic G. I. Joe action figure. 

Whilst the audience (and to many’s surprise, Mr. Smith), seemed to take the joke lightly, Jada rolled her eyes and scoffed at her husband. With little to no hesitation, Mr. Smith saw his wife’s reaction and began to approach Chris Rock. Out of nowhere, Will Smith slapped Chris Rock and many in the audience went silent. A haze of confusion ensued.  Many believed that this incident was staged, that it was part of the joke, however, it soon became apparent that nothing was staged when Smith yelled, ¨Keep my wife’s name out your (expletive) mouth.¨  Smith then sat back down, and Rock clearly flustered, continued to present the Best Documentary Award to QuestLove.  

Shortly after this incident, Mr. Smith took home his own Oscar for Best Actor, roughly 45 minutes after the slap. Before the award show even ended, the slap was all over social media. Many rushed to Chris Rock or Will Smith’s defense. Others believed that both men were wrong. What was clear, is that Mr. Smith’s reputation and career will be permanently tarnished by his actions. After apologizing to the academy and Chris himself, the Smith family has been mostly silent on the situation. His son, Jaden Smith, tweeted “that;’s how we do it” after the situation occurred, making it clear that he is taking his father’s side. The question remains, what happens now? The academy is conducting a meeting to further talk about the consequences of Mr. Smiths’ actions. Despite an emotional night for all, this memorable event will go down in the history of the Oscars. 


Tristan Hamilton