The world was in shock following the moment Will Smith walked on stage while comedian Chris Rock was presenting during the 94th Annual Academy Awards and slapped Rock. Since the show aired on last Sunday, social media, television and other media platforms alike have erupted with conflicting opinions regarding the actions that occurred causing a pretty deep division across communities.
When receiving his first Oscar award for his portrayal of Richard Williams in King Richard, Smith issued an apology to the Academy and guests in attendance and posted a more in depth written apology across his social media platforms regarding the incident. Rock has been noticeably silent—until now.
Yesterday evening, Chris Rock performed in Boston, the first comedy show that he has had since "the Oscars incident." He started off his set with “How was your weekend?" He then followed with, “I don’t have a bunch of sh*t about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend. I’m still kind of processing what happened. So, at some point I’ll talk about that s*h*t. And it will be serious and funny.”
The Smiths and Rock have a publicly rocky history which culminated in Will Smith's reaction to Rock's unscripted quip about his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith in which he stated "Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see it, alright?" The joke was made in reference to Pinkett-Smith's shaved head, and what prompted Smith to slap Rock on stage. As he returned to his seat, Smith was very clearly heard yelling "Keep my wife's name out your f--king mouth." Pinkett-Smith has been vocal about her struggles with alopecia, an autoimmune disease that leads to hair loss.
Recently passed footage has resurfaced of various other instances in which Rock had mentioned both Will and Jada in a disparaging light, prompting many to assume that the nature of the slap was deeply rooted.
As previously reported by EBONY, the Academy has decided to pursue further disciplinary action against Will Smith which could result in his suspension from attending future events or expulsion from the Academy itself. In a statement, the Academy shared, “The Board of Governors today initiated disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and compromising the integrity of the Academy.” The vote to take action against Smith was unanimous.