Explained | Will Smith-Chris Rock slapgate's impact on Hollywood – WION

Will Smith slapped Chris Rock in Oscars 2022. Photograph:(AP)

Oscars 2023: At the 94th Academy Awards ceremony in March, Will Smith struck comedian and presenter Chris Rock after he made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Let’s explore the aftermath and impact of the incident on Hollywood.

Oscars 2023: At the 94th Academy Awards ceremony in March, Will Smith struck comedian and presenter Chris Rock after he made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Let’s explore the aftermath and impact of the incident on Hollywood.
Oscars 2023: During the 94th Academy Awards ceremony in March last year, Will Smith whacked comedian and presenter Chris Rock across the face in response to a joke he made about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Many viewers, including this scribe, initially believed the incident was scripted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organisation behind the Oscars. As far-fetched as it sounds, you wouldn’t put it past them. The ratings of Oscar ceremonies, after all, have been plummeting every year, and something as spicy as this may have been deemed a much-needed boost by the overlords at the Academy. 
However, Smith’s outburst (“Keep my wife’s name out of your f**king mouth!”) after he got back to his chair made it clear that the incident was not staged but real.  Amazingly, he went on to win his maiden Oscar later in the ceremony, for his performance as Richard Williams in King Richard.
During the ceremony, Rock was one of the presenters — tasked with presenting an award.  In his brief bit, he joked about Jada. While referring to her, he said he can’t wait to see G.I. Jane 2. In a 1997 war film, G.I. Jane, Demi Moore’s protagonist, a female Navy Seal, shaves her head. The joke targetted Jada’s lack of hair, which is due to the alopecia condition. At first, Smith appeared to laugh, but after looking at his wife’s eyes roll, he chose to attack Rock.
It has been almost a year since the incident, but the controversy has refused to die down. As a punitive measure for his act of violence, in April last year, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences banned Smith from the Oscars and any other events organised by the Academy for a decade following a meeting of the board of governors. Smith’s actions have led to a change in the Hollywood outlook towards violence. Many have argued that Smith should not have been given his Oscar after the slap, and that he should have been charged with assault.

A lot has happened since then. Smith gave a half-hearted apology at first and later last year shared a more extensive apology, expressly naming Rock. In a video he shared on social media handles, he said, “Chris, I apologise to you. My behaviour was unacceptable. I am here whenever you are ready to talk. That was one of the things about that moment. I just didn’t realise. I wasn’t thinking but how many people got hurt in that moment. So I want to apologise to Chris’ mother. I want to apologise to Chris’ family.”
Rock earlier referred to the incident only peripherally in the early months, before truly unleashing himself in the recently-released Netflix comedy special, Chris Rock: Selective Outrage, the first live one from Netflix. “I love Will Smith, my whole life… he makes great movies. I have rooted for Will Smith my whole life. I root for this mo**erf***er. And now I watch Emancipation just to see him get whooped,” he joked at one point. 
Also Read: Chris Rock watched Will Smith’s Emancipation to see him getting whipped
As a surprise to absolutely nobody, Smith’s act of violence made his reputation plummet significantly. Variety reported last year that his popularity and approval ratings declined significantly after the slap. In the data provided by Q Scores to the publication, it appears that Smith was one of the top 5 or 10 rated actors in the US. But after the incident, his Q Score went down to 24 from 39. Henry Schafer, executive VP of Q Scores, said this is a significant drop. At the same time, his negative rating went up from 10 to 26. Even Jada’s popularity suffered due to Smith’s actions. 
Celebrities for the most part sided with Rock and condemned Smith for the slap. Jim Carrey said during an appearance at CBS, “You do not have the right to walk up on stage and smack somebody in the face because they said words. That video is going to be there forever. It’s going to be ubiquitous. That insult is going to last a very long time.” 
Also Read: Will Smith comes back to awards stage for the first time since slapgate. Here’s why
There were, however, some like Denzel Washington and Tiffany Haddish who also expressed sympathy with Smith. Washington said, “There but for the grace of God go any of us. Who are we to condemn? I don’t know all the ins and outs of the situation, but I know the only solution was prayer.”
Haddish on her part said that Smith “stood up” for his wife. “As a woman, who has been unprotected, for someone to say, ‘Keep my wife’s name out your mouth, leave my wife alone,’ that’s what your husband is supposed to do, right? Protect you,” she said. 
She added, “And that meant the world to me. And maybe the world might not like how it went down, but for me, it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen because it made me believe that there are still men out there that love and care about their women, their wives.”

The general public on the internet has reacted to the incident with humour. In the above video, a YouTube channel called It’s Dynamite Remix released this remixed version of “Keep my wife’s name out of your f**king mouth!” Sigh.

You can now write for wionews.com and be a part of the community. Share your stories and opinions with us here.
Gaslight trailer out! Sara Ali Khan, Vikrant Massey's spine-chilling mystery is unmissable
Poet, lyricist, screenwriter Javed Akhtar says Urdu ‘doesn’t belong to Pakistan or Egypt, but to Hindustan’
RRR fame Jr NTR wants to work with Brad Pitt on THIS film
Stay connected with us
© 2022. India Dot Com Private Limited. All Rights Reserved.


Leave a Comment