[imagesource: Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times]
Well, at least the world can finally agree on what is the most famous slap in history.
By now, you know the drill. Will Smith slapped Chris Rock after the comedian cracked a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair (she suffers from alopecia), and the Oscars became a two-man talking point.
It didn’t help that Smith, both during his Best Actor speech and on social media, failed to apologise to Rock.
You knew it was coming, though, and at around 5PM Los Angeles time Smith stepped up.
He said his behaviour was “unacceptable and inexcusable” and stated that “there is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”
That apology, in full:
View this post on Instagram
We know that Rock declined to press charges, but if he had, an assault like we saw on stage (considered a misdemeanour) is punishable by up to six months in jail and a $100 000 fine.
After the high drama of the Oscars, there was some surprise when Smith was spotted at the Vanity Fair afterparty having a pretty good time.
Granted, he had just won his first-ever Oscar:
Will Smith at the Vanity Fair after party, having the time of his life after assaulting Chris Rock#WillSmith #ChrisRock #AcademyAwards2022 #Oscars pic.twitter.com/II85E3LyUk
— shapeshifting101 (@shapeshifting11) March 28, 2022
Will Smith is celebrating and dancing to his own hits at the Vanity Fair #Oscars party – via @nekesamumbi pic.twitter.com/c118DPVPjk
— The Hollywood Reporter (@THR) March 28, 2022
The “Getting Jiggy With It” dance party with Will Smith and his Oscar right in the middle, at the @VanityFair party pic.twitter.com/OmQ0gFbIdE
— kateyrich (@kateyrich) March 28, 2022
As that last clip illustrates, he was seen dancing and singing along to his songs ‘Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It’ and ‘Miami’. If you can’t dance along to your own music after winning an Oscar, when can you?
According to The New York Times, those at the jol did their best to steer clear of the topic:
“That moment, I can’t talk about it,” said Amy Schumer, who hosted the Oscars with Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall, after chatting with Larry David just outside the tented dance floor.
“It was such a big deal and I’m still processing it, and I have to be so careful,” she added, before turning to a cluster of friends for a lifeline. “Somebody get me to stop talking.”
Jamie Dornan pled ignorance:
#JamieDornan was asked about the #WillSmith / #ChrisRock altercation at the #VanityFair #Oscars afterparty pic.twitter.com/ynH5cNZygN
— Cheryl Alyson 🖤🇺🇦 (@cheryl_alyson) March 28, 2022
Sean “Diddy” Combs claimed to Page Six after the awards show that Smith and Rock had made up:
“That’s not a problem. That’s over. I can confirm that,” Diddy, 52, told us of the beef without elaborating on further details of how Smith, 53, and Rock, 57, had reconciled.
“It’s all love,” he added. “They’re brothers.”
An unnamed source clarified that Diddy had spoken to them individually, and claimed that Smith and Rock “didn’t speak to each other”.
Finally, for now, at least, sources within the Academy say that Rock’s joke was not part of the script:
Here’s The Daily Beast:
Academy sources told Rolling Stone on Monday that Chris Rock’s G.I. Jane 2 joke—which earned him an onstage whack in the face from Will Smith—was not part of pre-ceremony rehearsals.
Furthermore, at least six anonymous sources told the mag that Academy members are “furious” over the brawl.
“He could have said something from his seat,” one Hollywood executive reportedly said. “Instead he walked those 20 or so paces to the stage and struck Rock.”
Amid their fury, the Academy has announced that it is launching an inquiry into the incident and that Smith could face consequences.
Ratings for the Oscars have been steadily declining for years.
The slap made them relevant again, if only for a few days.
Perhaps they should be counting their blessings.
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