History was made at last night’s Oscars: Barrier-Breaking Film coda won best picture, Westside Story‘s Ariana DeBose became the first openly queer actress of color to take home a gong, and the Academy Awards honored a female director for the second straight year.
However, the entire evening was overshadowed by a suddenly viral moment – Will Smith hit honoree Chris Rock on stage after a joke the comedian made at the expense of Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
Rock and the Smiths “go way back,” continued Natalie Finn Weekly entertainment. The stand-up comedian had a guest appearance in the sixth season of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air in 1995 and starred in three Madagascar Movies alongside Pinkett Smith. The trio have performed together at numerous awards ceremonies and other high-profile events in the past without any (public) problems.
But it’s likely the relationship soured six years ago when Rock poked fun at Pinkett Smith during his monologue at the 2016 Academy Awards — aka the year of “#OscarsSoWhite.”
Pinkett Smith had announced she would serve out the ceremony and expressed her “deep disappointment” at the lack of diversity in this year’s nominee list. But in Rock’s speech, he sneered, “Isn’t she on a TV show?” before comparing her boycott of the Oscars to how he “boycotted Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited!
When asked to respond to Rock’s dig, Pinkett Smith told reporters that such comments “[come] with the territory,” but it didn’t sound like she saw the funny side. “We have a lot of things to deal with, a lot of things that are happening in our world right now,” she continued. “We have to keep it moving.”
To the average viewer, the joke that preceded last night’s slap was childish but relatively light-hearted — “Jada, I love you,” Rock told Pinkett Smith, before adding, “GI Jane 2can’t wait to see it!”
But Pinkett Smith’s stern response to Rock’s dig at her buzzcut indicated he’d touched on a sensitive subject. Last December, the matrix The actress revealed on Instagram that she decided to shave her head due to struggles with alopecia, an autoimmune condition that leads to hair loss. According to the BBCthe condition affects a third of women of African descent.
“Mom has to get it to the scalp so no one thinks she’s had brain surgery or something,” she said told her 11 million followers. “Me and this alopecia are going to be friends…period!”
As Smith stormed the stage to smack Rock in the face, he yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out of your friggin’ mouth!” to which Rock replied, “Wow dude, it was a.” GI Jane to kid”.
In addition to Rock’s way of attacking Pinkett Smith and the sensitive issue he raised, Smith’s personal history may have contributed to his violent outburst, Catherine Shoard claimed The guard.
The actor “has written publicly about his need to compensate for a childhood marred by domestic violence,” she said. In his autobiography, published last year, he wrote about how his father physically assaulted his mother, including once when he was nine and saw his mother “spit up blood.”
“Through everything I’ve done since — the awards and accolades, the spotlight and attention, the characters and the laughs — there was a subtle array of apologies to my mother for my inaction that day,” he wrote. “For failing you at the moment. Because I couldn’t stand my ground against my father. Because I’m a coward.”
Understanding the trauma Smith experienced as a child helps explain “why the actor felt the insult was too severe to shake off,” Shoard said. Last night he apologized to the academy and his fellow contestants while accepting the best actor award, but made no mention of Rock.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/arts-life/culture/film/956230/will-smith-and-chris-rocks-history-what-led-to-the-oscars-slap The Will Smith and Chris Rock story: what led to the Oscar smack?