The WILL SMITH and CHRIS ROCK slapping incident (also known as “Slapgate”) occurred during the 94th Academy Awards on March 27, 2022, when actor Will Smith went on stage and slapped Rock for Best Documentary Feature slapped comedian Chris Rock during the performance of The slap was in response to Rock’s joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith shaving his head, Which she was shaving since 2021 due to Alopecia Areata. Smith returned to his seat and cursed at Rock, Rock responded briefly, then completed his presentation without interruption.
Who Is Will Smith?
Williard Smith was born on September 25th, 1968 in Caroline to Williard Carrole Smith, a school board administrator, a US Air force veteran, and a refrigeration engineer, and Caroline Bright. He is, a producer, rapper, comedian, and songwriter. He has had successful careers in film, music, and television.
Under the name Fresh Prince, Smith gained fame in the early 1980s. When the series Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was telecast, he gained more name and fame and the rest was noise.
He is the only actor who boasts to have eight continuous films grossing over $100 million in the domestic box office and eleven consecutive films grossing over $150 million internationally.
He received the Best Actor Oscar nominations for Ali and The Pursuit of Happiness. Smith was classified as the most profitable star by Forbes.
Who is Chris Rock?
Born on February 7th, 1966 in Georgetown, South Carolina, USA, Chris Rock is a stand-up comedian. His shows usually conveyed racial matters leading him to a successful career.
When he played in small clubs in New York, he was brought to light by comedian-actor Eddie Murphy. He got a breakthrough after being cast in Saturday Night Live. He later went on to join Fox Network’s ‘In Living Color’ which stopped getting telecast. However, his popularity as a comedian and actor dwindled.
In 2009, Chris won the Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music, or Comedy Special. His latest award was ‘Comedy of the Year for Top Five in 2014. Besides these, he was nominated for various awards and honors every year.
Chris Rock & Will Smith’s Relationship
The following are the works by the Chris Rock and Will Smith collaboration.
|Name of the movie/sitcom||year of release|
|A Fresh Collab||1995|
|Keeping Up the Jonzes||1999|
|Madagascar ( Jada Pinkett and Chris Rock)||2005|
Though the duo has worked together for about three decades, the impromptu incident that took place between Chris Rock and Will Smith in the 94th Academy Awards ceremony can never fade away from people’s minds. When Chris Rock cracked a joke about Will Smith’s wife and her hair publicly, Will Smith hit the roof and slapped Chris Rock tightly, asking him to keep his wife’s name away from his mouth.
Apart from the above mentioned incident, another that rocked their relationship was when Jada Pinkett- Will Smith’s wife appeared as a guest to promote Scream 2 on The Chris Rock Show, they joked about how soon the Blacks got opportunities to get cast on horror films.
On the same show, she handed over a bottle of champagne to Jada for doing an interview without taking Will Smith’s name even once.
Again when Jada and Will kept away from the Oscars due to the lack of representation, the couple was targeted for mockery by Chris Rock. He went on to say that “boycotting Oscars was like him boycotting Rihanna’s panties”. These and many such incidents weakened Will Smith and Chris Rock’s relationship further.
Will Smith Opens up about the night he slapped Chris Rock
Why did Will Smith slap Chris Rock?
Jada had already spoken about her battle with Alopecia, a hair loss condition, and how she was literally shaken in fear. She mentioned she had cut her hair short on her social media handle.
During the 94th Academy Awards held at California, the audience was shaken to note the Will Smith-Chris Rock relationship shrinking further when they got into a squabble.
As Chris Rock took the stage to announce the ‘Best Documentary Award’, the comedian took Jada Pinkett’s name for a joke. While that made Will Smith laugh in the beginning, Jada rolled her eyes. Looking at that, Will Smith went to the stage and slapped Chris Rock on his face, for real. Seeing this, the entire auditorium hushed for a few moments. Will Smith was seen shouting, “Keep my wife’s name out of your mouth fu**ing mouth”. At the end of the ceremony. Chris said that was the greatest night in the history of television.
After the incident, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released a condemnation statement about Will Smith slap on Chris Rock’s face and that they were launching a formal review in accordance with their Bylaws, Standards of Conduct, and California Law.
Who Apologised To Whom?
Will Smith shared a lengthy video of apologies to Chris Rock, his mum, followers and fans for the unfortunate incident during the 94th Academy Awards. In the video of Will Smith’s apology, he had also added that he was going through something that night and was open to talk with Chris. However, Chris Rock dismissed Will Smith’s apology right away.
In Chris Rock’s stand-up comedy show in London, he called it a ‘hostage video’ and said the incident was hurtful.
Chris has been touring the UK with Dave Chappelle- his fellow comedian and talking about the video. He refers to Will Smith’s movie- Ali (2001) and says Will Smith playing as Ali hurts. However, he cannot even play Floyd Macweather. In another stand up comedy show, Chris Rock made a joke of Jade Pinkett Smith’s hairless head and told them she couldn’t wait for the release of GI Jane 2 referring to Demi Moore’s 1997 film GI Jane in which the character Demi shaved her head.
The incident where Will Smith slapped Chris Rock took a storm on social media and was subjected to absolute criticism. He resigned from the Academy that hosts the award ceremony and has been banned from attending the Oscars for the next 10 years.
Just like how a coin has two sides, this incident neither makes him a negative nor a positive role model. One should not judge a book by its cover. Likewise, one should never judge his traits with reference to this incident alone.
One can see how protective Will Smith has been of his wife, making him a great husband. On the other hand, it shows his emotional imbalance in the public.
a. Smith has the ability to solve Rubik’s cube in both The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and the Pursuit of Happiness.
b. He happily spent money between the years of 1988 and 1989 which made him bankrupt in 1990.
c. He has fondly been called “ Mr. July” as most of his summer blockbusters are released in the month of July.
d. He sees that he uses the line “ Aww, hello no!” in all his movies as a running catchphrase.
e. He loves to play chess and is a vociferous follower of professional wrestling.
a. Chris Rock learnt swimming at the age of 55, proving age is just a number. b. Before foraying into stand-up comedy, he worked as a busboy and hospital orderly.
c. He has authored the book “ Rock This!” which talks about various topics like personal life, race, gender, governor etc.
d. He dropped out of formal education in 10th grade and a GED. Then he pursued Broadcast Journalism at the community college.
e. He hosted Oscar twice, both in 2016.
As Chris Rock took the stage to announce the ‘Best Documentary Award’, the comedian took Jada Pinkett’s name for a joke. While that made Will Smith laugh in the beginning, Jada rolled her eyes. Looking at that, Will Smith went to the stage and slapped Chris Rock on his face and asked him to keep his wife’s name away from his mouth.
Apart from this, others that have rocked their relationship was when Jada Pinkett- Will Smith’s wife appeared as a guest to promote Scream 2 on The Chris Rock Show, they joked about how soon the Blacks got opportunities to get casted on horror films.
On the same show, she was handed over a bottle of champagne to Jada for doing an interview without taking Will Smith’s name even once.
As of today, Will Smith and Chris Rock have not reconciled. Will they do it in the future? Well, time will answer.