Will Smith Smacking Chris Rock At The Oscars In Defense Of His Wife Jada Has Sparked Divided Opinions

Was Will right or Chris? Was it a defense or toxic masculinity? How far is too far for a comedian? The Oscars slap has proven immediately divisive.

It’s the slap that has now been seen all over the world, the moment Will Smith made his way to the stage and hit comedian Chris Rock live during the Oscars over a joke made about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

Rock referenced Pinkett Smith’s bald head and quipped, "Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see it."

The 50-year-old Pinkett Smith was diagnosed with alopecia in 2018 and has been public about her struggles with not being able to grow her hair.

There are levels of debate happening as people process the incident. Was Chris right or Will? Is this a defense or a display of toxic masculinity? How far is too far for a comedian? A Twitter Space titled “Will Smith Did What!?!?” hosted over 8,000 participants at one point.

But first, of course, the incident was memed with a speedy turnaround.

I refuse to read a single fucking thing about the Will Smith shit, but the memes already have me absolutely rolling

Twitter: @Clarknova1

What really happened with Chris Rock and Will Smith in The Slap at the Oscars 🤣 #Oscars #Oscars2022

Twitter: @MDHamimHosen3

Chris Rock after being slapped at the Oscars 😭🤦🏾‍♂️

Twitter: @SupremeDreams_1

Online, people have been divided into two distinct factions. There are those showing support for Rock...

When you can't control yourself like Will Smith and you lose your cool, you've already lost. That is the lowest point to be in, such a disappointment, staged or not. #teamChrisRock #TheOscars2022 #TheOscars Nah Will Classless

Twitter: @PumlaniNkosii

It was a joke, made by a comedian. Insensitive or not. I can’t believe how many are so accepting of violence being the 1st resort, acting like it’s so honorable that he was defending his wife.not like it was some assault in the street. It was a joke at the Oscars #TeamChrisRock

Twitter: @SuperBeeatch

Imagine feeling so entitled you assault someone b/c of words, Then saunter back to your seat and carry on like it was your right. And then the a$$hole wins an award!? What total shite! #teamChrisRock

Twitter: @moonlandbysea

...while many have backed Smith and believe his actions were justified given the context.

Nah. Talk shit get hit. Somethings deserve a repercussion. Not everything is a joke and peoples appearances ESPECIALLY coming from an autoimmune disease is NOT okay. #TeamWillSmith #Oscars We love a man who defends his wife

Twitter: @thatdeerfae

Black women deserve to be defended. Especially by their husbands. You don't get to define what that defense looks like. #TeamWillSmith

Twitter: @jadeljordan1

Y’all can say whatever. I’m not mad at any person sticking up for the people that they love especially when they’re out of pocket on national TV. #teamwillsmith #Oscar

Twitter: @the_eco_creativ

Some people suggested that the attack was representative of toxic masculinity and warned that the responses praising Smith were normalizing violence.

Will Smith’s speech trying to spin the incident as "I'm just the protector of my family" and then said "Love will make you do crazy things" is 💯 literal textbook abuser justification for his unhinged behavior. #ToxicMasculinity #Oscars

Twitter: @digital__junkie

I know we’re all still processing, but the way casual violence was normalized tonight by a collective national audience will have consequences that we can’t even fathom in the moment. #Oscars2022

Twitter: @JNelsonLDF

No matter what side of the fence you land on regarding the Will Smith slap of Chris Rock, it sends a terrible message to the millions of kids that look up to Smith. Not only did he use violence to get his point across, he did not apologize and there were no immediate consequences

Twitter: @OMovies

And it has reignited the age-old conversation over comedy, commentators, and what is considered off-limits.

People act like comedians can just say whatever they like under the ideology of "it's their job". When we all know there are jokes that can be made in poor taste. If you as a comedian aren't aware of the line, someone will show you it to you ESPECIALLY if this is the 2nd time.

Twitter: @jayannlopez_

Violence against cultural commentators, whether journalists or comedians, has a dangerous trickle down effect. Every stan out here thinks they’re defending their faves’ honor. A bad look. Will could’ve talked w/ Chris about it privately & asked him to apologize publicly. 💁🏽‍♂️

Twitter: @craigspoplife

Bro I’m speechless, because Australian TV didn’t bleep a single word said from Will Smith. Praising this man for standing up for his wife because this is what disabled people have to deal with on a daily. Making ableist/ablenoir jokes about Jada on international TV is not on

Twitter: @endlessyarning

During his acceptance speech for Best Actor, which he won for his portrayal of tennis coach Richard Williams, father to Serena and Venus, Smith led by referencing Williams’ reputation as a “fierce defender” of his family. The father of three apologized to everyone for the incident but did not apologize to Rock.

It isn’t the first time Smith has struck someone. Back in 2012, the actor slapped a Ukrainian reporter-turned-prankster Vitalii Sediuk after Sediuk attempted to kiss him during a red carpet interview in Moscow.

“He’s lucky I didn’t sucker punch him,” Smith told his team before composing himself during the 2012 incident.

Welp…I said it wouldn’t be boring #Oscars

Twitter: @willpowerpacker

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences posted that it “does not condone violence” meanwhile show producer Will Packer also appeared to chime in, writing on Twitter, “Welp…I said it wouldn’t be boring #Oscars.”


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