Will Smith’s Hit Justified But Wrong Time

Chloe Marasigan, Editor

At the 2022 Oscars, Will Smith slaps Chris Rock after making a joke regarding Jada Pinkett-Smith’s bald head, leading to controversy about whether his hit was justified or invalid.

In reference to the 1997 drama, GI Jane, Chris Rock humored Jada about her possibility of starring in the movie’s sequel because of her closely-shaved head.

During his introduction before announcing the nominees, Chris Rock joked “Jada I love ya! GI Jane 2, I can’t wait to see it!”

The screen cut to both Will and Jada Smith, while Will was found to be chuckling and seemingly not offended, Jada looked to be clearly bothered by the comedian’s statement.

Only after a few seconds, did Will Smith saunter onto the stage towards Chris and slapped him in front of the live cameras and the celebrity-filled audience watching. When he arrived back at his seat Will yelled at the comedian essentially telling him to not talk about his wife.

Jada has publicly spoken about her auto-immune disease, alopecia, which has caused the immense hair loss. Whether Chris Rock had known about this or not is unknown, however, it is unlikely he was unaware when both parties are in the same social group.

As a professional comedian, especially in front of major-league celebrities and on live television, Rock should not have made a joke directed toward Jada Smith about her loss of hair. It is a discourtesy to comment on someone else’s appearance regardless of whether or not he knew about her disease. As a rule of thumb it is impolite to make jokes about others if one doesn’t know about their predicament.

Will Smith’s sudden change in reaction to Chris Rock’s joke was puzzling to many, but it is clear that after noticing Jada’s unhappy reception, he felt the need to stand up for his wife.

The attitude Will Smith had, albeit chivalrous, reeked of an Alpha-male temperament. Although Rock deserved to be ridiculed for his comment, Will’s impulsive reaction to punishing him instantly on stage was not the time or place to do so.

The Oscars has been an event numerous actors strive to deserve to take part of one day, and those who have made the cut this year, specifically those Chris Rock had to announce, had to face the tension that Will Smith left on stage.

A much better alternative would have been for Will Smith to confront Rock in private after the ceremony and tell him that it is wrong to make jokes about Jada Smith and explain the reasons as to why if he didn’t already know.

Although the on-stage altercation between the two celebrities were shocking and perhaps entertaining, and the many jokes being made on social media are actually very humorous, Chris Rock should not have made the comment while Will Smith should have taken a more mature approach to expressing his feelings in private.