CHRIS ROCK IN THE SPOTLIGHT.
Tensions seemed to run especially high during the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony at The Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, with Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith being the butt of more than a few unnecessary jokes. Regina Hall even took a chance to speak of their open marriage (via Buzzfeed) in jest, joking that she was interested in sleeping with all of the male nominees, including Smith.
“You’re married, but you know what? You’re on the list, and it looks like Jada approved you, so you get on up here!” – co-host Regina Hall.
WHY DO WE FIXATE ON CELEBRITIES SO MUCH?
At the end of the day, celebrities are normal people. We as human beings, need to release ourselves from being gossip obsessed fans, to accept that being a movie star is literally just a job. It is not your average retail or office 9 to 5, but it is still a very stressful profession.
At The Academy Awards tonight, Chris Rock made what looked like an improvised joke (as all jokes and shenanigans need to be approved and rehearsed before hand) by looking at Pinkett-Smith’s shaved head and referenced Demi Moore’s 1997 flick, G.I. Jane. The character Moore played famously shaved her head to be in the military, and honestly was a very empowering movie to women.
STRUGGLING WITH A SICKNESS
Jada unfortunately has alopecia (via NBC) which makes her lose her hair. She was visually seen rolling her eyes and looking more than a little mortified. At first, Will Smith seemed to take it in stride. He laughed, but then when he saw his wife’s reaction–things got real.
THE SLAP HEARD AROUND THE WORLD AND INTO THE MICROPHONE.
CHRIS ROCK JUST GOT OVER HIS HEAD.
He climbed up onto the stage and slapped Chris Rock right across the face. Rock was barely able to get through his set and immediately segued right into the nominees of the Best Documentary category. Smith then sat back down in his seat, clearly distraught.
“Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth!” he yelled twice. While the censors muted the entire confrontation, other countries caught the uncensored version.
Rock immediately made a joke about Will Smith just slapping the shit out of him while Smith continued to say ‘Don’t talk about my wife!’ Chris Rock responded with ‘I won’t.’ Later on, Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry were seen consoling the couple, with Smith wiping tears from his eyes.
IT’S OKAY TO GET EMOTIONAL.
Smith went on to win the Best Actor category and was clearly still very emotional, even weeping on the stage. For some reason, the screen bounced back and forth between The Oscars’ logo, and then went back again to showing him.
BEST ACTOR WINNER.
He made a beautiful and emotional speech about it not being about the award (for King Richard), but for being able to represent all of the people starring in the film, and which the film was based off of. Vanessa and Serena Williams looked on proudly, applauding him for his sincere passion and dedication.
Smith apologized near the end of his impromptu speech about his visible sadness, and joked that he hoped The Academy would let him come back next year. After the confrontation with Rock, they both seemed to be in good spirits back at their respective seats.
WILL THERE BE AN ARREST?
Was it assault? Or was it just a husband defending his wife’s honor? Looking at both sides of the stories, sometimes improvising can backfire. Especially if it’s on live television. While not all celebrities consistently read press on each other, Pinkett-Smith has been very vocal of her alopecia and perhaps Rock didn’t realize how sensitive the issue was for her, or didn’t even know about it.
Several viewers think that it was staged. But would it be? With the censors. The shocked expression from Rock? They did not need a publicity stunt of any kind, and even the audience was pretty alarmed. The audience was dead silent. This journalist does not think it was staged, but I’ll leave that up to you, dear reader.
Can you imagine the limo ride home if you did not defend your mortified and upset wife on national television? In the end, it was just the wrong joke at the wrong time.