One Silver Lining Of All The Brouhaha Surrounding The Oscars Slap Incident, According To Jada Pinkett Smith

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith on Oscar night 2022
(Image credit: ABC )

Will Smith, Jada Pinkett Smith and Chris Rock were the talk of the 2022 Oscars following the surprising slapping incident that occurred on the Academy Awards stage. And they continue to be a hot topic nearly three months later, as we try to figure out "What now?" Both parties have mostly remained quiet since the viral moment, but Pinkett Smith has been open about one silver lining to the situation. 

If you recall, Chris Rock’s joke was “Jada, I love ya, G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it.” It led to a laugh from Will Smith and an eye roll from Jada Pinkett Smith. From the looks of it, once Smith saw how his spouse reacted to the joke, he marched on stage and slapped Rock. He then yelled at him to “get his wife’s name out of his fucking mouth” from his seat, as Rock remained on stage. Smith won his first Oscar that same night shortly after the incident.

The joke that led to the slap was in reference to Jada Pinkett Smith’s lack of hair, which is actually the result or alopecia, -- an autoimmune disorder that causes hair to fall out. Jada Pinkett Smith shared this following the Oscar night brouhaha: 

I had so much outreach from people who suffer from alopecia, have children who suffer from alopecia and they don’t talk about it, because there's so much shame around it. There’s so many people who are walking around who have alopecia that we don’t even know, so I felt like it was so important to just allow the alopecia community, our brothers and sisters, to tell their story. I don’t think that people understand what alopecia is, and they don’t understand the effects of it.

During the first episode of her show Red Table Talk post-Oscars (which also featured her mother, Adrienne Banfield-Norris, and daughter Willow Smith), the star only just briefly mentioned the night, sharing her hopes for Smith and Rock to “reconcile.” Perhaps knowing all eyes would be on her, she instead spent the entire episode sharing others stories related to alopecia.

With that, Jada Pinkett Smith has decided to remove herself from the commentary on the night itself and focus on the positive – the “thousands” of people who reached out to her about living with alopecia. As she also shared, she wanted to use the moment to give the community to talk about their experiences with the condition. 

Given how big of a topic she and her family are, the actress could have taken the time to delve into what happened with the incident, perhaps give into the discourse, but she seems to be honed in on highlighting alopecia awareness. And following the slap on Oscar night, more people are reportedly learning about alopecia than ever, as the number of searches for “alopecia” went up by 2 million (which is a rise of 600%), per Murray Dare marketing research. Additionally, news articles mentioning the condition skyrocketed by 40,000% Unintentionally, maybe the Oscar slap has given more people awareness of what the condition is and the struggle that is often associated with it. 

Since the slap, there have been numerous people sharing their own opinions on what went down and what should happen next. Will Smith has since been banned from Academy-sanctioned celebrations for the next decade and upcoming movies of his have been placed on hold. We'll see what else transpires as a result of Smith's situation with Chris Rock.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.