Sunday night’s Academy Awards will go down in history as one of the messiest Oscar broadcasts ever, which is saying a lot for an event that makes headlines year after year just for being a trainwreck. In case you somehow missed it: In an instantly viral, apparently unscripted moment, Will Smith stormed onstage and slapped Chris Rock across the face for making an inappropriate joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. The comedian compared Pinkett Smith, who suffers from the autoimmune disease alopecia, to G.I. Jane from the 1997 Demi Moore film of the same name.
Hollywood is still reeling from the whole kerfuffle, with countless celebrities and public figures clamoring to throw in their two cents. While it initially seemed like most people would ultimately condemn Smith’s actions as unacceptable, the reality is more complicated. He still received a standing ovation from the A-list audience in the Dolby Theatre when he accepted his Best Actor award later in the evening. And as of Monday afternoon, public opinion on the matter was deeply divided.
Judd Apatow was one of the first celebrities to offer his take in a since-deleted tweet. In response to a Twitter user who commented that he could understand Smith’s reaction considering the cheapness of Rock’s joke, Apatow wrote, “He could have killed him. That’s pure out of control rage and violence. They’ve heard a million jokes about them in the last three decades. They are not freshman in the world of Hollywood and comedy. He lost his mind.”
The Knocked Up director was promptly ratioed for his completely hyperbolic statement, which ironically highlights the fact that Pinkett Smith has been a consistent target of mockery for years. Though physical violence is decidedly not OK, regardless of context, to say Smith could have killed Rock in that moment is utterly absurd.
Meanwhile, Pinkett Smith’s Girls Trip co-star Tiffany Haddish not only supported Smith, but celebrated his controversial move in an interview with People at the Governors Ball. “When I saw a Black man stand up for his wife, that meant so much to me,” she said. “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.” The comedian even went on to call the whole fiasco “the most beautiful thing [she’s] ever seen because it made [her] believe that there are still men out there that love and care about their women, their wives.”
But it doesn’t stop with Apatow and Haddish (not even close). Below, we’ve rounded up some of the other high-profile responses to last night’s chaos.
The former Tonight Show host jokingly lamented not having a platform to discuss the incident. (For the record, we would much rather watch O’Brien monologue about the Oscars than the relentlessly unfunny Jimmy Fallon.)
The Star Wars actor was among the celebrities condemning Smith’s actions as violent assault.
Griffin, who was blacklisted and sent death threats over her controversial joke about decapitating Donald Trump, worried about the potential precedent being set, saying, “It’s very bad practice to walk up on stage and physically assault a Comedian.” She suggested an audience member at a comedy club may decide to “be the next Will Smith,” which somewhat ignores the bitter personal history between Rock and Smith.
Jaden Smith, unsurprisingly, expressed unequivocal support for his dad’s defense of his mother.
Joel Kim Booster
Comedian Joel Kim Booster tweeted, “Will Smith slapping Chris Rock is straight people’s Adele Dazeem,” referring to the 2014 Oscars blunder in which John Travolta bizarrely mispronounced Idina Menzel’s name when announcing her performance of “Let It Go.” The Oscars really have always been a mess.
The rapper reflected on the events in a multi-tweet thread, first proclaiming her love for Chris Rock and defending him by saying he probably didn’t know about Pinkett Smith’s alopecia. But then she switched gears, sympathizing with Pinkett Smith and praising her husband’s urge to stick up for her. “You just got to witness in real time what happens in a man’s soul when he looks over to the woman he loves & sees her holding back tears from a ‘little joke’ made at her expense,” Minaj tweeted.
Rob Reiner did not mince words when it came to whose side he’s on, saying Smith is “lucky Chris is not filing assault charges.”
Joining the vocal crew of celebs condemning Smith’s actions, Maria Shriver tweeted, “We should never get to a place where we sit and watch a movie star hit someone on global television then, moments later, get a standing ovation while talking about love.”
One Tree Hill actress Sophia Bush also had a lot to say about the viral moment, for some reason. While she maintained that she doesn’t support violence, she said that “punching down at someone’s auto-immune disease is wrong.”
David Spade’s sparse tweet in which he seems to imply that the (incredibly tasteless) joke was not that big of a deal can safely be interpreted as support for his longtime friend Chris Rock.
Oswalt referred to another jaw-dropping moment in recent Academy Awards history—when presenters Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty falsely announced La La Land as the 2017 Best Picture winner instead of the actual victor, Moonlight.
Philadelphia native and Abbott Elementary creator Quinta Brunson tweeted, “What a very west Philly Oscars.”
A comically clueless Cher tweeted a very poorly timed and effusive celebration of the night, typing in her trademark all-caps, “OH WHAT A NIGHT IM SO SO SO HAPPY.” Moments later, she snapped into damage control mode, explaining that she was apparently out of the room when the slap occurred (??). The singer clearly still caught some flak for her mistake, prompting her to tweet an indignant (and borderline unintelligible), “Haters FK U.”
Knives Out filmmaker Rian Johnson seemed to delight in the chaos of the evening, to which we say: read the room, sir.
Nikole Hannah-Jones, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist behind the 1619 Project, tweeted her disbelief that Smith was able to be a part of the show as if nothing had happened.
The Queen & Slim star shared that she has “second hand embarrassment for all involved” in the slap incident. Turner-Smith has also been retweeting other people’s responses, including a tweet highlighting the irony of the Academy’s anti-violence statement in light of the accused sexual predators who have been honored at the Oscars.
Bernice A. King
The daughter of Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King chimed in on Monday morning, writing, “Anybody who thinks ‘Black people look bad’ after the #Oscars already thought Black people look bad.” She followed up the tweet with more commentarys on the systemic roots of violence.
Will Packer, the producer of this year’s Oscars broadcast, joked that he had promised the show wouldn’t be boring and–thanks to Smith and Rock–he delivered. File this one under “responses that downplay a heartbreaking and violent incident as entertaining.”
Source by www.thedailybeast.com