It’s almost hard to believe, but the 2022 Academy Awards happened a number of months ago. Despite this time, the discourse and fallout surrounding Will Smith walking on stage and slapping Chris Rock continues to play out. In the aftermath of what’s been known as “the slap” Rock is gaining followers, while Smith keeps losing them.
During the Oscars, Chris Rock entered the stage to present the Best Documentary Feature category, but took a few jabs at the celebs in the front row first. And after he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's appearance, Will Smith walked on stage and slapped the comic, before returning to his seat and eventually winning his own Academy Award. Smith is still seemingly feeling the fallout of that viral action, as a number of his projects were put on hold. And it’s also resulting in the actor losing roughly 8k followers a day, per a report by I Love SEO (via Newsweek). Meanwhile, Rock’s numbers are on the increase.
Of course, it’s important to note that Will Smith still has an insane amount of followers on Instagram; he’s got 64 million at the point of writing this story. Chris Rock has 6 million, which is an impressive number but pales in comparison to the King Richard actor. Still, it’s been interesting to see how the two figures’ followings are going in opposite directions seemingly as a result of the slap.
As previously mentioned, Will Smith has definitely been facing a ton of backlash over slapping Chris Rock, especially since it was in the middle of the Academy Awards telecast. After dropping out of the Academy, he was banned from attending the ceremony for a decade. As for his various film projects, it’s unclear when Smith will actually begin production since a number of them were put on hold.
While Will Smith’s numbers on Instagram are going down seemingly as a result of the slap, there might also be another reason why thousands are unsubscribing. Namely that he hasn’t been active on the social media outlet since issuing his written apology for his actions at the Oscars. And oftentimes followers will go down when users, celebs or otherwise, stop posting. We’ll just have to see if an uptick happens whenever Smith returns to Insta.
Will Smith has seemingly stepped away from the spotlight since the slap, while Chris Rock has been keeping busy on tour. While the viral incident isn’t part of the comedian’s stand-up set, he has been making a few references to it here and there. As for Smith, he recently took a meditation retreat seemingly in hopes of finding silence and clarity over the ongoing situation.
Will Smith’s next movie Emancipation is expected to arrive in theaters sometime this year. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience.
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Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.