In case you somehow missed it, this year’s Academy Awards were somewhat overshadowed when Will Smith made his way onto the stage and smacked Chris Rock in the face.
During last month’s ceremony, the actor took offense when Chris made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, being bald. “Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see it,” the comic said.
Will was initially seen laughing at the joke while Jada, who was diagnosed with alopecia in 2018, remained stone-faced and rolled her eyes. The next thing that viewers saw was Will storming the stage and striking Chris.
Chris was visibly stunned after he was hit, and told the audience: “Oh, wow. Wow. Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me.” After returning to his seat, Will yelled: “Keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth.”
Chris, who was reportedly unaware of Jada’s alopecia diagnosis at the time, awkwardly replied: “Wow, dude, it was a G.I. Jane joke.” But Will simply repeated, “Keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth.”
The ceremony was cohosted by Amy Schumer, Regina Hall, and Wanda Sykes, and on the night Amy joked about what had happened when she returned to the stage.
Just moments after the incident had occurred, Amy quipped: “I’ve been getting out of that Spider-Man costume, did I miss anything? There’s like, a different vibe in here…”
Despite brushing it off at the time, Amy later said that she’d been left “triggered and traumatized” by the violence in a now-deleted Instagram post.
"I think we can all agree that the best way to unpack what happened is to stream my series @lifeandbethhulu and see me on tour this fall,” the post began. “But for real. Still triggered and traumatized.”
“I love my friend @chrisrock and believe he handled it like a pro. Stayed up there and gave an Oscar to his friend @questlove and the whole thing was so disturbing,” Amy went on. "So much pain in @willsmith anyway I’m still in shock and stunned and sad. I’m proud of myself and my cohosts. But yeah. Waiting for this sickening feeling to go away from what we all witnessed."
But over the weekend, Amy made light of the incident when she performed her first stand-up comedy routine since the Oscars at Las Vegas’s Mirage Theatre on Saturday.
Here, she referred to Will as “Ali,” referencing the 2001 movie where he played boxer Muhammed Ali, and then told a controversial joke that she was allegedly not allowed to make at the Academy Awards.
“I was kind of feeling myself and then all of a sudden Ali was making his way up,” Amy told the crowd. “And it was just a fucking bummer. All I can say is that was really sad, and I think it says so much about toxic masculinity.”
“It was really upsetting, but I think the best way to comfort ourselves would be for me to say the Oscar jokes that I wasn’t allowed to say on TV,” she added.
“I want to preface these Oscar jokes by saying that my lawyer said not to say these. Don’t tell anybody and don’t get mad at me,” Amy then said, before sharing one-liners she’d wanted to make about Joe Rogan and James Franco.
However, an “insensitive” joke about the fatal shooting that Alec Baldwin was involved in on the set of Rust last year was arguably the most shocking and has sparked backlash since it came to light.
Reciting her original Oscars monologue to fans, Amy said: “Don’t Look Up is the name of a movie? More like don’t look down the barrel of Alec Baldwin’s shotgun.” She then added: “I wasn’t allowed to say any of that [at the Oscars], but you can just come up and [slap] someone.”
During an interview with ABC News in December, Alec said that he pulled the gun’s hammer back as far as he could without actually cocking it, under Halyna’s instruction. However, when he let go of the hammer, the gun went off.
“I would never point a gun at anyone and pull a trigger at them. Never. Never,” Alec said at the time. “That was the training that I had. You don't point a gun at somebody and pull the trigger."
So understandably, people have taken issue with Amy’s scrapped joke, and the way that she seemingly compared Halyna’s tragic death to Will slapping Chris.
On Twitter, someone wrote: “Amy Schumer really looked the situation involving Will Smith and Chris Rock and thought ‘How do I not only make it about me, but also find a way to still tell an incredibly tasteless and insensitive joke that makes me look like a callous monster?’”
"@amyschumer what the actual fuck ? You CANNOT compare a joke like that (and lets be honest, it‘s not funny to joke about someone being K*lled by a prop gun) to someone slapping someone else on stage,” another wrote.
“Wait, sorry… Amy Schumer wanted to joke about someone’s actual death (?!?!?!?!) but was talking about how triggered and traumatised she was by a slap?! How do you think hearing this makes Halyna Hutchins’ grieving family feel?!” someone else responded.
And Amy’s past reaction to the slap was something that many others brought up when reacting to the Alec joke, with one person echoing: “Amy Schumer wanted to joke about someone’s actual death but a slap is what triggered and traumatised her? Also, is she that deprived of attention because why would she even tell us this?”
“Imagine being a rich white woman and being 'triggered' by a man slapping another man, somehow making it about you and then being mad you couldn’t joke about another woman’s death. @amyschumer valiantly made herself a victim,” someone else wrote.
In February, Halyna’s family filed a lawsuit to sue Alec, the movie’s production companies, and others who were involved in the set as they claimed that her death was the result of the filmmakers ignoring safety concerns to cut corners and save money.
"What's happened since this tragedy is that everyone is pointing the finger at someone else. We want to get to the bottom of this,” one of the attorneys representing Hutchins' family, Randi McGinn, told BuzzFeed News at the time. "The truth is there are about a dozen people who if they had done their jobs correctly, this would not have happened."