Everybody is Wrong in Slapgate


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Chris Rock and Will Smith backstage at the 2002 MTV Movie Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, Ca., 6/1/02. Photo by Frank Micelotta/ImageDirect.

Leham Berihe, Staff Reporter

I can’t believe we’re talking about this.

My first thought after watching Will Smith walk on stage and slapping Chris Rock at the 93rd Oscar Award ceremony was it had to be staged. No way would an Actor like Will Smith would do that publicly and, Chris Rock didn’t seem to take offense after being struck on stage. Will Smith also told Chris Rock off saying “Keep my wifes name out of your mouth” which this part was muted on television in America. The whole night people were making jokes about A-list celebrities and Chris Rock took it too far making a G.I. Jane joke about Jada Pinkett Smith who recently shaved her head because of her alopecia.

To say who’s in the wrong might be the obvious pick of Chris Rock but just because Will Smith was defending his wife doesn’t mean he did not still assault him on live television. Smith’s intentions of defending his wife were there and he had every right to be mad but his action was out of anger. “I reacted emotionally” is what he said in his apology post to Chris rock and the Academy on his Instagram. 

Chris Rock still did not have the right to make that joke without Jada Smith’s consent so that makes him in the wrong too. Chris Rock is a comedian and has been one for a long time so making jokes is literally his job. Him not looking into why Jada shaved her head and asking if it was okay to make that joke was on him and caused the result of Will Smith’s hand across his face. 

Will Smith was able to see his wrongful actions and apologize for them at least but I had yet to hear anything from Chris Rock other than him denying to press charges on Will Smith. Maybe he spoke with the Smith Family privately but Chris Rock put himself in this situation and is still choosing to not address his actions.