Chris Rocked?

On+March+27%2C+2022%2C+the+94th+Academy+Awards+were+held.+Not+only+were+awards+given%2C+but+so+were+punches.+

MorningConsult

On March 27, 2022, the 94th Academy Awards were held. Not only were awards given, but so were punches.

Grace Mulroy, Freelancer

On March 27, 2022, the 94th Academy Awards were held. Not only were awards given, but so were punches. 

Chris Rock was slapped in the face by Will Smith after making a comment about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. While presenting the award for best documentary, Rock stated “Jada, I love you, ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it.” (This was a reference to the 1997 movie “G.I Jane.”) 

The actress seemed to be annoyed, and her husband could be seen chuckling. Will Smith walked onto the stage to hit Chris Rock, after which he returned to his seat and stated “Keep my wife’s name out of your f-ing mouth.” Will Smith has consistently been known as a very laid-back person, so why did this happen, what should the repercussions be, and what should we do? 

Jada Pinkett Smith has been very open and vulnerable about her fight with alopecia. Alopecia is a medical condition that causes hair loss; there is no cure. She described this condition as, “terrifying when it first started. I first suspected I had alopecia when handfuls of hair would come loose when I showered. That’s why I cut my hair and continue to cut it.” This makes Chris Rocks’ comment especially egregious. 

Rock made this statement because he was already making jokes about actors, actresses, and their spouses. Soon after this calamity, Will Smith took the award for Best Actor. In his speech, he stated “I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. Thank you. I hope the Academy invites me back.” The Academy later sent out a tweet stating, “The Academy does not condone violence of any form.” 

The Los Angeles Police Department issued a similar statement saying, “We are aware one individual slapped another at the Oscars. The person involved had declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, [we will] complete an investigative report.”

Nothing like this has ever happened at such a public event, and it seems that many people aren’t sure what to do. Of course, Chris Rock shouldn’t have made a remark about such a serious condition; however, you shouldn’t slap anyone either, especially on live television. 

This is the first award show that has had an entirely black production team. Not only that, for the first time ever there were three female hosts. Arania DeBose was the first openly queer person of color to win an Oscar for her performance in West Side Story. Troy Kotsur became the first deaf man to win an Oscar. Riz Ahmed became the first Muslim person to win an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film. Yvett Merino became the first Latina producer to ever win an Oscar. And the award for Best Director was awarded to a woman for the second year in a row. ”

— Grace Mulroy

Both celebrities issued public apologies on their personal social media accounts. However, when it comes down to it, there should be repercussions for both Will Smith and Chris Rock. First, it’s common knowledge that you shouldn’t make fun of someone’s medical condition. Chris Rock definitely should not, in my opinion, be able to host any public award show after this. 

On the other hand, Will Smith should not get off scot-free. He assaulted someone in front of 75 million people. Many people are saying Will Smith’s Oscar should be revoked; this has only occurred, however, when a nominee has committed a serious felony. 

While Will Smith’s Oscar should not be revoked, he should not be able to attend or win another Oscar for some time. Even if he was defending his wife, you cannot assault someone and expect absolutely no repercussions.

The 94th Academy Awards will go down in history as a night of brawls and drama between famous individuals. However, so much more went down than just fistfights. There were many historical events that took place.

This is the first award show that has had an entirely black production team. Not only that, for the first time ever there were three female hosts. Arania DeBose was the first openly queer person of color to win an Oscar for her performance in West Side Story. Troy Kotsur became the first deaf man to win an Oscar. Riz Ahmed became the first Muslim person to win an Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film. Yvett Merino became the first Latina producer to ever win an Oscar. And the award for Best Director was awarded to a woman for the second year in a row. 

There were so many historical firsts for people of color, queer individuals, and women—yet this was all overshadowed by a brawl. As important as it is to talk about Will Smith assaulting Chris Rock, we cannot overlook these historical occurrences for our fellow human beings.   

It’s not every day you see A-list celebrities bashing it out like kids on the playground. Will Smith and Chris Rock both committed acts of insecurity, and they should not be excused. On the contrary, many historical events occurred at the 94th Academy Awards that should not be forgotten. Both these events should go down in history.