Updated 03-31-2022: this article has been updated with new information, as well as corrected.
Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock
We're already halfway through the week and the thought of the Will Smith assault on Chris Rock is still fresh in our minds.
Most recently, it's been reported that the Academy's Board of Governors, days after the incident, to discuss the consequences Smith will pay.
Possibly, “suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted.”
The fact that the Board took days to consider this is either proof that they were caught off guard preventing them to act quickly or, it took them that long to decide.
Smith has 15 days to respond before the next board meeting takes place on April 18, when they decide on the disciplinary action they need to take.
Divisive Crowd and A Shitty Non-apology
For those of us who watched the incident live, Will Smith made no apology to Chris Rock. Instead, he was rewarded with an Oscar for the best actor which he tearfully accepted.
By not doing so, he appeared to double down and make excuses for what he did.
But by apologizing to the Academy hoping that they will have him back, he acknowledged that he might be in trouble.
Combined with experiencing the live show and what we learned later, there was some back and forth between actors and staff.
We saw Denzel Washington and Tiffany Hadish, for instance, take Smith's side.
The Best Actor nominee quoted Denzel during his acceptance speech saying:
"Denzel said to me a few minutes ago, ‘At your highest moment, be careful. That’s when the devil comes for you.'"
I'm trying to figure out just what that means in the context of the incident. Is he saying that Will and his family are being targeted by Chris Rock's joke?
Seems to me that he's making him out to be the victim.
It even appears to be more like that during the Oscar winner's acceptance speech when he talked about being a public target of criticism.
I would say that for as long as you've been a celebrity, which didn't just happen without you wanting it, you're very weak-skinned.
Tiffany Haddish would later say:
I understand what Haddish is saying here and she needed to say that for me to understand how stigmatized people can be within various cultural circles.
I will also say that it wasn't Rock's best joke and pretty lame but whatever the offense, it was neither the time nor the place for Smith to lash out the way he did.
Haddish is also wrong in saying: "that kind of punishment needs to be administered."
If that's how she feels, then let it be administered in private after the show.
A Ratings Stunt That Makes No Sense
As Tom Sharpling of The Best Show said in this week's episode of the podcast:
"Then you start to read online and people are saying, "Oh, it's staged!" Staged? "Yeah, they're just trying to get the ratings up on this thing!" What!? On what planet... this is the thing about a lot of conspiracy stuff. It just... cause you can just throw a conspiracy at anything and just be like, "yeah, they're just trying to get what they want to get from it." It's like... but it doesn't make any sense. What allegiance do either of these people have to the Academy of Motion Picture and Sciences to where they'd be like, "Yeah. Let me put my personal career in jeopardy, we'll put it on the line so that the Oscars can," get what? More ratings after the Oscars? Like, for next year's Oscars can get more ratings? Cause this years is mostly over by that point!"
I relented earlier this week to a friend who believed it was also for ratings, that it's some ratings long game for years to come now where there will be some kind of payoff.
So, we should expect some more attacks at the Oscars from here on out and watch the show for when that's going to happen?
Then logic steps in and says, how does that make any fucking sense?
I will accept that there are enough people out there dumb enough to watch that show just to see if it happens again and enough to boost the ratings.
There's some weight towards the conspiracy when a report comes out about Will Smith staging a slap with a kid from last November.
But it looks like it's just Will Smith's weapon of choice because a punch would be overkill.
BTW, Will Smith did a similar thing some years ago when a non-comedian pulled a stunt on him.
He regained his composure soon afterward and then laughed about it, which is the complete opposite of what we saw this week.
New Security Concerns for Comedians
As for the lapse of security during the event, Howard Stern said it best about the double standard and even invoked Trump to compare with Smith in that they're both the same people, and able to get away with it.
In fact, we're learning in a statement from the Academy that in some way, Will Smith was asked to leave but refused to.
A Hollywood Reporter said on Morning Joe that there might not be that security asked Will Smith to leave but that it's more likely that the request was made through Smith's publicist. So, in that way, the consequences were lacking here.
Now, TMZ is saying that he was never asked to leave according to people claiming to be in the know.
It does say that there was some back and forth behind the scenes about whether he would need to go but, Oscars producer Will Packer apparently told Smith that he could stay.
Whatever the case may be, if the Academy made the statement then there's obviously miscommunication here.
At the same time, Chris Rock did his first show since the incident where he didn't want the entire show to be about the attack.
From Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, Ellen DeGeneres, and many comics (not Tiffany Haddish), there are real concerns about getting attacked on the stage for a joke someone doesn't like.
I have friends who are comics who are expressing the same fears.
It almost happened to Chris Rock again when twice, during his Boston show, someone reportedly went up on stage twice and security had to step in.
"But a heckler stopped the show twice. At one point, a person who appeared to be a member of security stepped onto the stage behind Rock. It's unclear if the heckler was removed, but as the person shouted, Rocked commented, "Is this going to be the tour now?" Some comedians have expressed fears that crowds could become more hostile since the incident at the Oscars."
Taking Everyone Else's Moment
Since then we've also learned that Chris Rock did not attend the Oscars after-party but did go to one where Wanda Sykes, who was one of the three comics to host, went up to Rock who apologized to her for the incident taking their moment away.
In fact, it brought everything down for the rest of the show.
Quest love was actually about to win for best documentary, which is something Scharpling also acknowledged during his podcast.
And Will Smith's asshole move took that away from him.
This is what I initially said Sunday night, fresh after it went down.
Go here for my updated conclusion to this debacle.
Will & Jada Pinkett Smith and several others just ruined Oscar night. Wow. What a shock when someone from the audience comes up on stage and punches the comedian. That happened when Will Smith walked up to Chris Rock and smacked him across the face. If Smith were a terrorist, he would have gotten away with it. My god! The horror that Will Smith, someone we've accepted as capable of taking anything, couldn't take a joke. Walks up onto the stage (such a privilege being seated in the front row), and open hand smacks the comedian. This says a few things... 1. Comics aren't safe, 2. Will Smith just devalued the Oscars. On the first thing. Comedians are being attacked everywhere. Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy is said to be a comedian before he became president. Now, dodging hitmen to stay alive, he's not being funny when it comes to defending democracy. Imagine that an autocrat is sending killers to get rid of you. That's what's going on with Zelenskyy. Looks like his brand of comedy is gonna get him killed. Now we have this French Prince of Bel-Air attack a comic on stage? Fuck you. On the second thing, it's hard enough that we don't give a shit about the Oscars. Every year it seems to get worse and worse. We didn't need any kind of drama this time around but here we go, Will Smith makes his way up to the stage to literally, smack Chris Rock in front of everyone. When this happened live, the delay blocked everything out on the channel. We saw Smith yelling something out but we couldn't hear anything. It got far more serious when, within minutes, we were able to hear the Japanese version of the encounter with Smith yelling "keep my wife's name out of your fucking mouth!" Jada never looked hotter when she rolled her eyes at the joke. That sealed the deal with me about her. She's not a good person. Something is going on there. The Smiths are at war with everyone else. As for Chris Rock, a G.I. Jane joke is too old to make. It got laughs because of Jada's alopecia condition, which she's been public about, which is why comedy is on the ropes right now. It's not good that people are minimalized for comedic relief. It's about the shock that makes it funny. Still, how does it look for someone to deliver the literal punch-line in public? Would have preferred for the joke to stay there and, let's move on. Just like the rest of us, Chris Rock was stunned. I was stunned enough that I don't remember and no longer care about who won or lost their awards. A friend of mine and I couldn't shake what happened. We had to break it down: was it a bit? No. Not the way that Will Smith was yelling afterward. I'm still in shock typing this right now! This is ugly. Will Smith would eventually accept his award for Best Actor and deliver a speech where he also doubled down on what he did. He never apologized to Chris Rock directly. They've probably ironed that shit out by now. But he seemed to defend himself using the character he got an Oscar for in King Richard that he's defending his family. This is his defense. Where's the apology? Will Smith, not unlike an autocrat, had the front seat to the Oscars, walked on stage and slapped the comedian, and then won an award where he doubled down on what he did during his speech. Thought this night was gonna be about movies but it was all about him. Jada is one of the worst actors out there anyway. She also instigated this and now, there's no coming back. Will Smith has been drunk on her poison and he's deliberately fucking it up for everyone. At a time when we could be supporting each other and working things out, the Smith family went nuclear and destroyed it for everyone. Congratulations, Jada. Fuck you, Will Smith. The Oscars are now shit thanks to you fucking assholes. Oh yeah, Jada Pinkette Smith, fuck you too. Come at me, Will.
A Younger Chris Rock Might Have Beaten Down Will Smith
I don't know what could have happened if Chris Rock had fought back on that stage. Chris refused to press charges, Will Smith was seen having a great time at the after-party as if the assault never happened and his apology would not happen until the following day via Instagram.
View this post on Instagram
But only a few months ago, Chris Rock was on the Fly On A Wall podcast where he said that he used to be bullied before he had enough and retaliated. He said that he beat the shit out of someone with a brick in a bag so badly that he thought he might have killed the bully.
He said that it bothered him so much later on that he had to see a therapist.
As a result, that anger was treated out of him to the point where he could no longer be triggered when he needed it.
I don't know that I would do anything different other than to angrily respond to Smith from the stage when he started yelling obscenities and challenge him to come back up to the stage.
It would have been right to do so given the amount of time it took for the Smiths to apologize.
Especially when the optics show that he was awarded for it.Fuck Jada Pinkette and Will Smith
I still stand by my rage about the Smith family.
The moment I go out on a stage to test out 5-minutes, I'm going to be attacked thanks to those two assholes.
Now, I'm going to have to be ready for it and make sure I knock the fucker out should security not be able to get my back.
I'm also never going to see Will Smith again in the same way.
The Academy rewarded Smith for his role in King Richard, which I was going to watch but now I refuse to.
I'm no longer interested in giving any value to his work or in his dramatic range.
Jada Pinkette Smith was already bad at it and nothing she's done is worth seeing.
Because of my retaliatory demeanor, Will Smith's threats from his seat don't intimidate me but rather, make me want to call him out even more.
I ask that everyone look at this guy as the asshole that he is and that you don't even look for something redeeming in him.
I'm sure you won't find it as he has a lot to make up for thanks to that incident.