Will Smith punches Chris Rock at the Oscars
This year’s Oscars featured shocks, sighs and surprises – but all anyone will care about is a slap. The Academy Awards took place on Sunday night, with films including The Power of the Dog, West Side Story, Licorice Pizza and Coda battling it out in the big categories.
The biggest story of the night had almost nothing to do with the awards: a shocking altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock sparked by a joke about Smith’s wife Jada. Smith walked up onto the stage and appeared to smack Rock in the face, before shouting at him to not refer to his wife again.
It undoubtedly overshadowed the night as a whole, and notably – just minutes later – Smith’s win of the Best Actor Oscar for King Richard. Through tears, Smith called himself “a vessel of love” and apologised to the Academy. The LAPD confirmed that Rock is not pressing charges. The Academy said it “does not condone violence of any form” and launched a “formal review” into what happened. Hours later, Smith apologised to Rock and said he was “embarrassed”.
You can follow all the developments about the “slap that was heard around the world” in our live blog below…
Screen Actors Guild condemns ‘unacceptable’ Will Smith Oscars slap
The Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) has condemned “the incident involving Will Smith and Chris Rock” at the 94th Academy Awards, calling it “unacceptable”.
The union representing presenters and other performers who work on the Oscars in an online statement said: “Violence or physical abuse in the workplace is never appropriate and the [SAG-AFTRA] condemns any such conduct.”
The industry body also revealed it had contacted the Academy after Smith struck Rock onstage over a joke about the actor’s wife Jada Pinkett to ensure the Best Actor winner’s behaviour is “properly addressed”.
Maanya Sachdeva29 March 2022 08:28
Was Chris Rock’s Jada Pinkett Smith joke scripted?
He added that the Oscars productions team, including director Glenn Weiss, realised something was wrong when Rock swore on live television.
Read the full report from Maanya Sachdeva here…
Ellie Harrison29 March 2022 07:36
Musical parody of the slap incident goes viral
Britain’s most opportunistic comedian Munya Chawawa has made a musical parody of the Will Smith/Chris Rock altercation, blending in references to Men in Black, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It”.
See the full story below…
Ellie Harrison29 March 2022 07:03
Comedian Jeff Ross praises ‘class act’ Chris Rock over Will Smith slap
Ross commented on the incident in a lengthy Instagram statement, writing that he “worships Chris Rock” and was moved to tears when he saw “Smith attack” Rock.
“I was watching my idol live out a comedian’s worst nightmare on live television,” Ross continued, referencing Smith hitting Rock over a joke he made about the actor’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith during the live Oscars ceremony.
“Rock should get a Nobel peace prize for keeping his hands down and not escalating the situation. Class act,” Ross added.
Peony Hirwani has the full report here:
Maanya Sachdeva29 March 2022 06:55
Alec Baldwin compares Oscars to Jerry Springer Show over Will Smith slap
Alec Baldwin has compared this year’s Academy Awards to The Jerry Springer Show after Will Smith hit Chris Rock during the ceremony.
The actor, who currently faces multiple lawsuits over Rust cinematographer Halyna Hutchins’ death last year, came out in support of Rock on Twitter and Instagram on Monday.
“I’m not reading much about how, or even if, the producers attended to Chris. But I love you, Chris Rock,” Baldwin wrote.
“I’m sorry the Oscars turned into The Jerry Springer Show,” the 63-year-old actor continued, comparing the Oscars to the tabloid talk show hosted by British-American television personality Gerald Norman Springer.
Maanya Sachdeva29 March 2022 05:59
LAPD right not to investigate Will Smith over Oscars slap – experts
Legal experts say the Los Angeles Police Department is right not to investigate Will Smith for hitting Chris Rock – especially since the comedian declined to press charges against Smith.
Criminal defence attorney Alan Jackson told the LA Times that the only charge which could be brought against Smith would be misdemeanour battery since Rock wasn’t injured and no weapons were used. However, Jackson continued, to be arrested on misdemeanour, the offence needs to “happen in front of the authorities”.
American law school professor Laurie Levenson told the paper that “not every bad act becomes a criminal case”.
“I don’t think anybody is sanctioning or anybody is saying what Will Smith did is appropriate,” she said.
Maanya Sachdeva29 March 2022 05:20
Chris Rock ticket prices hiked after Will Smith Oscars slap – reports
Ticket-selling site TickPick announced it had sold more Chris Rock tickets “overnight than we did in the past month combined” after the comedian was slapped by Will Smith on stage at the Oscars on Sunday (27 March).
Rock had announced his new “Ego Death World Tour” last month on Instagram, promising his fans “all new material” that is both very “personal and funny”.
Ticket prices for Rock’s show were also hiked after the Oscars incident, according to media reports. Tickets for a table at the comedian’s forthcoming show in Boston’s Wilbur Theatre on Friday were up over £76, Newsweek reported.
Maanya Sachdeva29 March 2022 04:56
It was the unbelievable Oscar twist that no-one saw coming… unless you’re Twitter user @_ja_s_on_ that is.
A tweet originally shared in 2016 went viral in the wake of last night’s events, for seemingly “predicting” the incident with Chris Rock.
The twitter user re-shared the tweet, which made speculative reference to Smith hitting Rock in the face, in the wake of last night’s events, alongside the caption: “Well…”
His reaction has since gone viral on the social media site, being “liked” over half a million times.
Chris Baynes29 March 2022 02:00
Richard Williams responds to Will Smith’s Oscars slap: ‘We don’t condone hitting anyone’
“Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father – just like they said about Richard Williams,” said Smith. “But love will make you do crazy things.”
Io Dodds has the full story here:
Chris Baynes29 March 2022 01:30
‘Embarrassed’ Will Smith apologises to Chris Rock over Oscars slap: ‘I was out of line and I was wrong’
Will Smith has apologised for slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars on Sunday after the comedian made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
“I was out of line and I was wrong,” read a statement on Monday from the actor addressed to Rock, the Motion Picture Academy, and others including his fellow cast and crew on King Richard.
Josh Marcus has the story:
Chris Baynes29 March 2022 00:46