VIA JAPANESE TELEVISION: The uncensored exchange between Will Smith and Chris Rock pic.twitter.com/j0Z184ZyXa
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 28, 2022
Actor Will Smith walked up and smacked comedian Chris Rock on stage during the Oscars for making a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith‘s hair, or lack thereof.
“Keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth!” said the heated Will after sitting back down.
“Wow, dude, it was a G.I. Jane joke,” Rock said, before saying he would not mention Pinkett Smith again. The offending joke was in reference to her close cut hair. Rock made a crack about how he could not wait to see her in the non-existent film “GI Jane 2,” in reference to actress Demi Moore‘s look in the actual film GI Jane. Pinkett Smith has said she has experienced patches of baldness from the condition alopecia.
“That was the greatest night in the history of television,” the comedian said after the smack, eliciting laughs from the crowd.
Will Smith soon after won the award for best actor for his work in the film King Richard.
Smith apologized to the Academy and fellow nominees during his acceptance speech.
The shocking smack had people online asking if it was possibly staged, but it looks an awful lot like Smith just broke the law in front of the entire world.
“If this happened as it seems, the authorities should open a criminal battery investigation,” Law&Crime founder Dan Abrams wrote on Twitter.
Later, he wrote, “I’m sorry but I don’t think it’s funny. Even if Will Smith had every moral right to be furious it doesn’t give him the legal right to go up and smack Rock or anyone else. If this happened in a different venue police likely would have been called.”
I’m sorry but I don’t think it’s funny. Even if Will Smith had every moral right to be furious it doesn’t give him the legal right to go up and smack Rock or anyone else. If this happened in a different venue police likely would have been called. https://t.co/doZFYSz60Q
— Dan Abrams (@danabrams) March 28, 2022
Attorney Ken White called the smack “textbook assault and battery,” and a misdemeanor, but he said that Smith is “unlikely to get arrested, because he’s rich.” The actor is likely to get a summons if charged, White said. “And then he’s incredibly unlikely to be sentenced to custody.”
Law professor Rick Hasen from the University of California, Irvine School of Law wrote, “Too bad I already wrote my Torts exam.”
“A lot of room to talk about social context, fighting words, and when resort[ing] to violence is sometimes socially acceptable. How did Will Smith get to continue with his participation?” he wrote, later adding, “Imagine if this happened in almost any other context.”
[Screenshot via Twitter]
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