Audience members and viewers alike were astonished on Sunday evening when Will Smith lost his cool and slapped Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars Ceremony in Los Angeles following a joke Chris had made about Smith’s wife.
Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett’s shaved haircut, saying it was a reminder of the G.I Jane character in G.I Jane, a 1998 film that he couldn't wait to watch in its second form. “Jada, G.I Jane 2, I can't wait to see it,” joked Chris.
Although Will was caught on camera laughing at the joke at first, some people said that perhaps after seeing his wife rolling her eyes, Smith then walked up to Chris and offered him the slap on his cheek.
“I find the sucker slap a cowardly move,'' said James Onen, The Fatboy Show Presenter on RX Radio. “Essentially it shows that if it was not for Jada’s reaction, he wouldn't have hit Chris. It seems like a very cowardly way of dealing with conflict,” he added.
His Co-host Daniel Omara also argued that considering Chris Rock’s pose standing with his hands clasped behind his back, it was a clear sign that he meant no harm. He further rendered Smith's counter reaction unreasonable.
“I found it interesting that he walked up there, slapped the guy, went back to his seat and said what he should have started with. Will would have won that fight from his seat if he had warned Chris Rock at the beginning. Chris would have apologised there and then. But the moment he got up, he lost. This is why we keep talking about stoicism among men. Sometimes you don't have to do anything. You win by not reacting,” Daniel remarked.
The duo also noted that Will is a very emotional person who gets teary-eyed at almost everything, describing how he almost cried as he yelled at Chris “Keep my wife’s name out of your mouth!”
They further condemned his act, saying that it could encourage violence against comedians as people might take it upon themselves to react aggressively when they feel offended by certain jokes.
Similarly, Will received enormous condemnation from the public, fellow celebrities and the Oscars Film Academy.
However, on Tuesday, Will bowed down to pressure and took to Instagram to apologise to Rock saying that “Violence in all its forms is poisonous and destructive.” He noted that as a fellow comedian, jokes are at his expense but one about Jada’s medical condition was too much for him to bear hence the “emotional reaction.” Jada Pinkett has been suffering from Alopecia since 2018, a hair-loss medical condition that has forced her to shave her head bald since.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive and Sarah every weekday from 6am to 10am on RX Radio.