The 2022 Oscars was something to remember. There were some legendary wins, such as Ariana DeBose’s historic accolade or CODA receiving Best Picture. But nothing was quite talked about more than the slap that was heard around the world. That’s right, I’m talking about Will Smith defending his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, after Chris Rock made fun of her alopecia on stage that night, when he walked up to him and slapped the comedian straight across the face.
The response from the world has been mixed, to say the least, with some agreeing with what Smith did and others, not so much, and this comes from those in Hollywood, as well. From people who have co-starred with Smith, or were friends with Rock, to people who just wanted to share their opinion on the matter, here are nine celebrities and how they felt about that infamous slap.
Steve Harvey is known for his fun TV hosting skills and creating some viral moments on Family Feud, and he decided to comment on the incident, calling it a “punk move” on Smith’s part, during a speaking engagement that happened at Georgia State University, via Deadline. Commenting on his nature as a Christian and how he personally feels, he said:
Whoopi Goldberg has made her name in Hollywood by appearing in many movies and drawing eyes to The View, where she’s acted as a moderator for several years now. But, like everyone else, she also commented on the slap, saying that “nobody is OK” with what occurred, while on The View:
Likewise, famous NBA all-star, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (who actually guest-starred on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air way back when alongside Smith) went online to express his thoughts on the matter, but did so in his own personal essay on Substack. You can read Abdul-Jabbar's full statement there, but he did talk about how it was so inappropriate for Smith to do what he did, and how it paints not only the entertainment industry but the Black community in a bad light:
Nicki Minaj is known for her numerous contributions to the music industry, specifically in the rap genre as a Black female artist, but on Twitter the night of the Oscars slap, she offered her thoughts on the matter, and agreed with what Smith did, saying that you have to think of it from his perspective:
Next up, we have Tim Allen, a comedic actor known for many great movie roles, who, while he wasn’t in attendance at the ceremony, wanted to express his thoughts on the manner on Twitter as well, commending Rock’s way of handling the situation and condemning what Smith did:
Tiffany Haddish has been making a name for herself in Hollywood over the last several years with appearances in several movies and TV shows, and she took the time out of her day to comment on the incident to People Magazine, defending Smith and saying it was “the most beautiful thing” she’s seen:
One of the most iconic actors of the last several decades is Mark Hamill, who's known for his role as Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars saga, and like many others, he used his social media platform to express his thoughts on the slap on Twitter:
Comedians from all over were standing by Chris Rock after what happened, but one who decided to make a little bit of a joke out of the whole incident was Conan O’Brien. The former late-night talk show host, who hosted his TBS show, Conan, until 2021, simply released this statement about the Oscars slap on Twitter:
I would have loved to see O’Brien's take on it during an hour of late night.
Last but not least, Sophia Bush of the One Tree Hill cast fame, also condemned Smith’s actions on Twitter, but was also not completely on Rock’s side either, saying that both parties were in the wrong:
While I doubt we’re going to get as big of a moment as this one at the Oscars again for some time, we truly won’t ever forget this - and I’m sure those in Hollywood won’t forget it either.
Big nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire. Will forever hate season eight. Superhero and horror geek. And please don't debate me on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!
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