Oscars recap: Will Smith and Chris Rock were both wrong

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith Credit: Dan MacMedan-USA TODAY
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith Credit: Dan MacMedan-USA TODAY /

Well, Oscar night was fun.

This feels like by far the most talked-about Oscar night and moment since EllenDeGeneres’s now-infamous Oscar selfie. The 2022 Academy Awards will now be remembered for a much darker moment.

While Chris Rock was presenting the award for Best Documentary he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair. For context, over the years Pinkett Smith has openly discussed — namely on her show Red Table Talk — her struggles with alopecia. The condition is a hair loss condition.  This did not matter to Rock, he made a joke about her beautiful bald head anyway. After a few moments of awkward laughter from her husband Will Smith and an eye-roll from Pinkett Smitt, it was on. Smith scoffed at Rock from his seat, before approaching The Oscars stage and slapping Rock. After Smith slapped Rock he continued shouting expletives at Rock from his seat in the audience.

This needs to be made clear, Smith was not right for approaching and slapping Rock. With that said, Rock was also in the wrong for making a joke about a woman with a medical condition. Yes, Rock is a comedian, and it is his job to tell jokes and make fun of people.

However, when you begin making jokes about medical conditions that cross a line, the joke is no longer funny. He struck a nerve with Smith and Pinkett Smith, and the slap was the ultimate consequence.

Rock crossed the line in making fun of Jada. Black women’s hair has been poked fun at and criticized time after time. And again, on Oscars night, Will Smith had enough. He stuck up for his wife.

Smith has since apologized twice for his actions on Sunday night.

Biggest Winners on Oscar Night

The incident between Smith and Rock overshadowed a historic evening for so many people, including Smith himself. He took home the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in King Richard. CODA swept all the categories it was nominated for and became the first predominately deaf cast to win the Best Picture award. It also made AppleTV+ the first streaming service to take home the win.

  • Best Actress: Jessica Chastain – The Eyes of Tammy Faye
  • Best Actor: Will Smith – King Richard
  • Best Supporting Actor: Troy Kotsur – CODA
  • Best Supporting Actress: Ariana DeBose – West Side Story
  • Best Director: Jane Campion – The Power of the Dog
  • Best Picture: CODA – AppleTV+

All in all, it was an interesting Oscars night. I am thoroughly looking forward to the Grammy Awards on April 3, 2022, at 7:00 PM CST.

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