'Nobody Comes Out of This Looking Good'

Smith's slap overshadowed 'what should have been one of the greatest nights of his life'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 28, 2022 2:51 PM CDT
Updated Apr 2, 2022 5:20 PM CDT
'Nobody Comes Out of This Looking Good'
Will Smith, right, hits presenter Chris Rock on stage while presenting the award for best documentary feature at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

(Newser) – It's being called the "slap heard around the world"—after presenter Chris Rock joked about Jada Pinkett Smith's lack of hair at the Oscars Sunday night, Will Smith slapped him and shouted, twice, "Keep my wife's name out of your f---ing mouth!" Some opinions on one of the most shocking events in Academy Awards history:

  • "Nobody comes away from it looking good." Scott Feinberg at the Hollywood Reporter says one of the most shocking aspect is the fact that Smith has been a "model Hollywood citizen" for decades and is famous for his discipline. Feinberg says it's a shame that the episode overshadowed the achievements of winners including Smith himself, who won best actor for his role in King Richard. "It is never right to resort to violence. It is never right to mock the appearance of someone’s spouse in front of the world, least of all when the physical feature being mocked is the result of a medical condition," he writes. "Regardless of who you think was 'right' or 'wrong' in this situation, the bottom line is that nobody comes away from it looking good."

  • Smith "deserved more from himself." Inkoo Kang at the Washington Post also says it's too bad that Smith's reaction to Rock's "unfunny throwaway line" about Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia, looking like she could star in GI Jane 2 overshadowed his best actor Oscar. It was the first of his career and the fifth for a Black actor. "This was a man who lost his cool on what should have been one of the greatest nights of his life," Kang writes. She says this is what the night will be remember for, and "at the 2022 Oscars, Will Smith deserved more from himself."
  • "A bad look." BuzzFeed rounds up some of the reactions on social media. "Violence against cultural commentators, whether journalists or comedians, has a dangerous trickle down effect," tweeted music critic Craig Seymour. "A bad look. Will could’ve talked w/ Chris about it privately & asked him to apologize publicly." Jade, one of many Smith supporters who used the #TeamWillSmith hashtag, tweeted: "Black women deserve to be defended. Especially by their husbands. You don't get to define what that defense looks like."
  • Debate is a "testament to Smith's popularity." "It’s a testament to how popular Will Smith truly is that he cold-cocked someone on live television and there’s an actual debate over whether this was a correct course of action," writes Stephen Robinson at Wonkette. "I can’t believe I have to say this, but you shouldn’t hit someone even if they’re gross and take cheap shots at your wife," he writes, adding that "I have to note that a lot of Black women on social media appreciated the slap."
(Read more Will Smith stories.)

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