Celebs React to Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock at Oscars 2022: Jaden Smith, Amy Schumer and More

Celebs React to Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock at Oscars 2022: Jaden Smith, Amy Schumer and More

The slap heard ‘round the world. Will Smith stunned the star-studded audience — and everyone watching at home — when he took to the stage and smacked Chris Rock across the face after the comedian made a “joke” about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair loss at the 2022 Oscars on Sunday, March 27.

“Jada, I love you,” the comedian said from the stage, quipping, “G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,” referring to the actress’ buzzed head, as G.I. Jane star Demi Moore wore a similar style. (Pinkett Smith, 50, has often been open about losing her hair due to alopecia.)

As the camera cut to the Smiths, the King Richard star, 53 — who later won the Oscar for best actor — seemed to smile at Rock’s joke, while Pinkett Smith intensely rolled her eyes. Though it initially seemed that Smith was OK with the quip, he quickly walked onstage and slapped the Longest Yard actor, 57, across the face. Once he returned to his seat, he yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f–king mouth.”

“Wow. Will Smith just smacked the s–t outta me,” Rock said to the audience before returning to handing out the award for best documentary.

For his part, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum later referenced — and apologized for — the altercation in his speech when accepting his Oscar for King Richard.

The slap heard ‘round the world. Will Smith stunned the star-studded audience — and everyone watching at home — when he took to the stage and smacked Chris Rock across the face after the comedian made a “joke” about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair loss at the 2022 Oscars on Sunday, March 27.

“Jada, I love you,” the comedian said from the stage, quipping, “G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,” referring to the actress’ buzzed head, as G.I. Jane star Demi Moore wore a similar style. (Pinkett Smith, 50, has often been open about losing her hair due to alopecia.)

As the camera cut to the Smiths, the King Richard star, 53 — who later won the Oscar for best actor — seemed to smile at Rock’s joke, while Pinkett Smith intensely rolled her eyes. Though it initially seemed that Smith was OK with the quip, he quickly walked onstage and slapped the Longest Yard actor, 57, across the face. Once he returned to his seat, he yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f–king mouth.”

“Wow. Will Smith just smacked the s–t outta me,” Rock said to the audience before returning to handing out the award for best documentary.

For his part, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum later referenced — and apologized for — the altercation in his speech when accepting his Oscar for King Richard.

Celebs React to Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock
Will Smith and Chris Rock Rob Latour/Shutterstock
“Oh, man. Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” Smith said, relating his behavior to that of Serena and Venus Williams’ father, the role he played in the film. “I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people. I know to do what we do, you got to be able to take abuse. You got to be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business you got to be able to have people disrespecting you. And you got to smile, you got to pretend like that’s OK.”

The 7 Pounds actor also apologized to several people for his behavior — though not explicitly to Rock.

“I want to apologize to the academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees,” he added. “Art imitates life: I look like the crazy father. Just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.”

He later apologized directly to the presenter the following day in a lengthy statement. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris,” Smith wrote via Instagram on March 28. “I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”

Stars who were both in attendance and watching at home had a lot to say about the drama — from Rock’s “joke” to Smith’s slap. Scroll below to see how celebrities reacted to the incident:

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Three weeks after the former NBA player wrote an op-ed about the altercation between Smith and Rock, Abdul-Jabbar shared his concern for Pinkett Smith and her feelings.

“I just felt that Will’s wife really should have been given some consideration as to, you know, how she felt about it and what she wanted to do about it,” he told Entertainment Tonight about the Matrix star’s reaction to Rock’s joke. “I mean [people] just ignored her altogether and I didn’t think that made much sense. You know, she’s the one that would’ve been offended if it was offensive. It wasn’t like somebody, like, riding her. … You never know what people are thinking. That’s how I see it.”

Gayle King
“I think the whole thing is so unfortunate,” the journalist told Entertainment Tonight while attending the 2022 CMT Music Awards in April. “I think there have to be consequences to your actions. I have no idea what’s right [or] what’s wrong, I don’t. But the whole thing makes me so sad, because I like them both.”

King said that she’s “pulling” for Rock, adding, “I just want him to be fine. And it seems Will is very regretful and very remorseful, and that’s an important first step.”

Michael Bay
“I’ve worked with him, he is not that guy,” the Bad Boys director told Yahoo Entertainment of Smith, confessing that he thought the slap was a bit at first. “I’ve never seen him lose his cool like that. I thought it was set up ’cause I saw the smirk, and I’ve been on set when Will screws with people, when he’s joking with people.”

Bay said that Smith’s reaction was “wrong,” but also noted that there are bigger issues in the world that deserve attention. “But that’s all people are talking about,” he added. “And I don’t really care. Hollywood gets really self-absorbed. There are babies getting blown up in Ukraine right now. We should be talking about that.”

Rachel Zegler
The West Side Story actress was asked about the Oscars drama on the red carpet at the 2022 Grammys, telling Extra, “I feel like it’s none of my business.”

Bill Maher
The April 1 episode of HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher addressed the host’s feelings about the slap. “To Will Smith: stay strong and I got your back,” Maher said. “April Fools. You’re a d–k.”

Maher then said he had trouble feeling sorry for Pinkett Smith. “Comparing a woman to Demi Moore looking her hottest is not exactly the worst insult I’ve ever heard. I mean, Alopecia is not leukemia,” he added.

Sheryl Underwood
“I’m going to say this as a comic, I am afraid now to get on a stage,” Underwood said on The Talk in April 2022. “Because in my third show, when everyone’s been drinking. If you don’t like my joke, do you now believe that you can get up and slap me?”

Amanda Seyfried
The Dropout star threw shade at both Smith and the Academy on Wednesday, March 30, when she posted a photo of the actor dancing with his award at the Vanity Fair Oscar party. “Also pretty certain the Academy didn’t tell him to f–k off before his win,” Seyfried claimed via her Instagram Story.

Daniel Radcliffe
Radcliffe declined to weigh in on the situation during his Thursday, March 31, appearance on Good Morning Britain. “I’m just so already dramatically bored of hearing people’s opinions about it that I just don’t want to be another opinion adding to it,” the Harry Potter star explained.

He did, however, sympathize with everyone in the audience that night who witnessed the uncomfortable moment, adding, “When you’re going on stuff as a kid you’re never quite sure if the joke’s with you or you’re the butt of the joke. So you sort of have a mode of just being like, ‘I’ll just keep smiling and laughing and maybe it’ll end soon.’”

Joseph Patel
The Summer of Soul producer — who took home the Best Documentary Feature trophy alongside Questlove — slammed both Smith and Rock for overshadowing the exciting moment in a series of since-deleted tweets on Thursday. When the film was announced as the winner, the comedian said the award would go to “Questlove and four white guys,” when in fact it went to the Roots frontman, Patel, Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein, only the latter two of whom are white.

“The reason that makes me SO SO VERY ANGRY is because I was so proud to be one of a handful of South Asians to have ever won an Oscar in the history of the award,” Patel wrote via Twitter, adding that he was also the third South Asian artist to win that night. “That’s never happened before! And it’s meaningful! It’s history!” Though he acknowledged that Rock was in a stressful situation when he made the quip, Patel still shared his frustration with the entire incident, noting, “I’m angry. Angry at Will Smith. Angry at Chris Rock. Angry for me. Angry for Ahmir. Angry for my fellow filmmakers.”

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
“When Will Smith stormed onto the Oscar stage to strike Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife’s short hair, he did a lot more damage than just to Rock’s face,” the NBA legend wrote via a Substack essay on Monday, March 28. “With a single petulant blow, he advocated violence, diminished women, insulted the entertainment industry, and perpetuated stereotypes about the Black community.”

He continued: “I don’t want to see [Smith] punished or ostracized because of this one, albeit a big one, mistake. I just want this to be a cautionary tale for others not to romanticize or glorify bad behavior. And I want Smith to be the man who really protects others — by admitting the harm he’s done to others.”

Lamar Odom
“He loves his wife. I do not condone violence against anyone,” the former Los Angeles Lakers athlete captioned a Tuesday, March 29, Instagram snap. “@willsmith loves @jadapinkettsmith. I was told love covers a multitude of sins.♥️… Had I protected my wife [ex Khloé Kardashian] versus mentally, emotionally and spiritually hurting her, I may still be married.”

Bethenny Frankel
“You have a presenter that’s working for you at The Academy. … They are working for you. They touch somebody, they punch somebody, they slap somebody. You have the person removed,” the Real Housewives of New York City alum said on a Tuesday, March 29, episode of her “Just B” podcast. “You give them their award separately. It’s not like, ‘Oh, hey, I know you just smacked somebody presenting, but now we’re going to give you an award.’”

Frankel continued: “It’s awkward at best. I did not see the whole show. But from what I understand, that’s what happened. I can’t overstate the fact that you just can’t touch another person. It’s a bad example for your kids. It’s a bad example for America.”

Zoe Kravitz
“Here’s a picture of my dress at the show where we are apparently assaulting people on stage now,” the Batman star captioned a red carpet photo via Instagram on Tuesday, March 29.

Tim Allen
The Home Improvement alum tweeted, “It’s not ok to come up on stage and hit a dude cause you don’t like the humor. It’s not ok at a Comedy Club, concert hall or hosting some cheeseball award show. Chris Rock is a stand up comedian and a standup guy who carried on. I think I would have run.”

Alec Baldwin
“I am not reading much about how, or even if, the producers attended to Chris,” the 30 Rock alum tweeted, later sharing a screenshot of the post via his Instagram account. “But I love you, @chrisrock. And I’m sorry the Oscars turned into the Jerry Springer show.”

Mark Hamill
The Star Wars actor tweeted a photo of the smackdown, writing, “Stand-up comics are very adept at handling hecklers. Violent physical assault… not so much. #UgliestOscarMoment_Ever.”

Jodie Turner-Smith
The Queen & Slim star was “still processing” the heated moment after the ceremony, tweeting, “I have second hand embarrassment for all involved.”

Jimmy Fallon
“America may be divided, but it was kind of nice for all of us to come together and say, ‘holy crap’ at the same time,” the Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon host quipped during his monologue one day after the awards show. “Of course, I have to address the big moment that everyone’s talking about, and that is Questlove winning the Oscar for best documentary!”

James Corden
The U.K. native told Late Late Show With James Corden viewers that the “whole incident threw me off in a huge way” while discussing the ceremony on his show. “Also completely ruined my chances in the Oscar pool. I had Dame Judi Dench smacking Woody Harrelson,” he teased, going on to praise Rock for “keeping the show moving.”

Stephen Colbert
“Let me say something as an objective observer: It’s never OK to punch a comedian,” the writer said on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. “Will Smith was offended by the joke and wanted to stand up for his wife. Fine. Challenge Chris to a duel or, if you really want to hurt a comedian, don’t laugh. That hurts way more than a punch, I promise you.”

Seth Meyers
The former Saturday Night Live cast member joked that “the last thing” he’d expect at the Academy Awards “was a display of narcissism,” adding, “The 94th Academy Awards were held last night and featured the first live performance of ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno,’ from the Disney musical Encanto, followed by an unbelievable live performance of ‘We Don’t Talk About Jada.'”

Serena Williams
“I just sat down ’cause I was like, ‘I gotta put that drink down,’” the tennis star — whose father, Richard Williams, was depicted by Smith in King Richard — said via a since-deleted Instagram Story.

‘The View’ Cohosts
“I think Will was immature, I think he was childish and he was violent,” Sunny Hostin said on the show. Whoopi Goldberg, an Academy governor weighed in on the idea of the Academy taking away his Oscar. “There will be consequences I’m sure, but I don’t think that’s what they’re going to do, particularly because Chris said ‘Listen, I’m not pressing any charges,’” she said.

Ana Navarro didn’t mince words. “Hitting somebody is a crime, a crime of assault. While she called Rock’s quip “a lame joke, a joke in very poor taste,” she believes the slap and the remark were “not equivalent.” Joy Behar discussed the impact on comedians. “They want us [comedians] to be edgy, to go out there and say what everyone’s thinking … and then they get mad.”

Janet Hubert
“There is only so much one can take… sometimes you have to slap back,” the actress, who portrayed Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, tweeted. “Celebrate the win… nothing else matters. Both actions were incorrect but Chris didn’t need to go there.”

Diddy
The entrepreneur attempted to play peacemaker after the incident when presenting The Godfather tribute on stage. “OK, Will and Chris, we’re going to solve that like family at the Gold Party, OK?” the rapper said. “But right now we are moving on with love. Everybody make some noise!”

Lupita N’yongo
Cameras caught N’yongo looking visibly shocked as Smith yelled at Rock to keep “my wife’s name out your f—king mouth.

Jaden Smith
“And That’s How We Do It,” Will and Jada’s son tweeted in response.

Nick Viall
When asked how the altercation compared to Bachelor Nation drama, the “Viall Files” podcast host told Us that the Oscars moment was “way more dramatic” than the reality dating show. “He walked up on stage and slapped him,” Viall said at the 30th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party on Sunday. “I think most people just wondered if it was like a bit or a joke, if it was fake. I think pretty quickly we realized it was serious.”

The ABC personality noted that the situation was “unfortunate” on several levels. “Chris Rock is there to be a comedian. He tells jokes, obviously, you know, there’s always going to be some at the expense of people. … Everyone has a right to feel though how they feel, and we have our hurt feelings, but how we handle our hurt feelings matters,” Viall told Us. “I don’t know if Will handled it the best. But his performance [in King Richard] was amazing. Congrats to him for winning the Oscar, certainly well-deserved in his performance. It just — I feel like it took away from his moment. I feel like more people are going to be talking about that than his award. And that’s unfortunate for everyone.”

Nicki Minaj
“I love Chris Rock. I don’t think he would’ve made that joke had he known what Jada recently shared- but between him & the whole team @ the #Oscars you mean to tell me not ONE of y’all heard this woman just share this heartbreaking story? #ComeOnSon,” the rapper wrote on Twitter. ” …. You just got to witness in real time what happens in a man’s soul when he looks over to the woman he loves & sees her holding back tears from a “little joke” at her expense. This is what any & every real man feels in that instant. while y’all seeing the joke he’s seeing her pain.”

Jameela Jamil
“Will Smith said ‘Not Today,'” the Good Place alum shared via Twitter, alongside a Malcolm X quote. “A man big enough to absolutely floor him, slapped him softly enough that Chris barely moved, because he made fun of his wife’s alopecia on a world stage. Don’t say #protectBlackwomen for two years and then only condemn Will here. Come on…”.

Cardi B
“At your highest moment …be careful that’s when the devil tries to come for you,” the “WAP” rapper wrote on Twitter, echoing Denzel Washington’s own comments to Smith.

Rosie O’Donnell
“So upsetting – on every level – bravo to Chris Rock – for not eviscerating will smith – which he could do any day of the week – he walked away – bravo from a sad display of toxic masculinity from a narcissistic madman,” tweeted the actress, using the hashtags, “#Oscars2022” and “#chrisROCK.”

Amy Schumer
“I’ve been getting out of that Spider-Man costume. Did I miss anything?” the Life and Beth star joked after Will’s win. “There’s, like, a different vibe in here.”

Kathy Griffin
“Let me tell you something, it’s a very bad practice to walk up on stage and physically assault a comedian,” the comedian tweeted. “Now we all have to worry about who wants to be the next Will Smith in comedy clubs and theaters.”

Maria Shriver
“We should never get to a place where we sit and watch a movie star hit someone on global television then, moments later, get a standing ovation while talking about love. #WillSmith #Oscars,” the journalist tweeted.

Steph Curry
“This was loud!!! Like that slap on that other channel,” the NBA icon tweeted Sunday night when the Stanford women’s basketball team beat Texas.

Liam Payne
“I believe whatever he felt that he did, he had the right to do,” the “Strip That Down” singer told Good Morning Britain while noting, “I also felt like there were three losers in one fight.” He added, “It’s a very sad thing but there was a powerful moment for me, to sit and watch one of the world’s best emoters speak from the heart and I would rather take away the beauty from the situation than take the pain … but I had to leave my chair I’ll be honest with you, it cut me really deep.”

Howard Stern
“This is a sign of great mental illness when you can’t control your impulse,” the shock jock said of Smith, seemingly coming to Rock’s defense: “Not only that, it was hardly an insulting joke. It was not even a good joke. The joke, quite frankly, was beneath Chris Rock. It was a throwaway.”

Devon Sawa
“I mean the hit was definitely less Philly and more Bel Air,” the Hunter Hunter star joked via Twitter.

Leslie Odom Jr.
The Hamilton star weighed in on the incident at the Vanity Fair afterparty, noting, “This business can sometimes feel like walking around with your skin ripped off, you know? It’s a very vulnerable thing. And so I think we saw two artists with their hearts open. It’s a vulnerable moment, sometimes it’s messy but it’s always beautiful when it’s the truth.”

Jimmy Kimmel
“I know the big story is the slap, but congratulations to @amyschumer @iamwandasykes & Regina Hall who were very funny,” the comedian, who previously hosted the Oscars in 2017 and 2018, tweeted on Sunday. “I hope that isn’t overshadowed by the unpleasantness #Oscars.”

David Spade
“A GI Jane joke???” Spade tweeted of his Grown Ups costar’s quip.

Paul Scheer
The Black Monday star wrote via Twitter, “Hopefully some eye witnesses will step forward,” as the LAPD noted in a statement that they didn’t “have any details about the incident.”

Trevor Noah
“Wtaf????? That wasn’t scripted?????” asked the Daily Show host via Twitter, repeating, “Wtaf????? That wasn’t scripted?????”

Tiffany Haddish
“I think Chris was messy. As a woman who had a husband, I wish my husband would have stood up for me the way Will stood up for Jada,” the Girls’ Trip star told the Los Angeles Times. “That’s what every woman wants, right? She was hurt. And he protected his wife. And that’s what a man is supposed to do.”

Judd Apatow
The director tweeted multiple times about the moment and strongly condemned the violence. “Alert – @amyschumer do not go to the @VanityFair party. Will Smith wants to talk to you about the monologue. Chris— I think you should take him for all his King Richard, I mean, Hitch money. #Oscars.” He later referenced Questlove, writing, “@questlove who deserved his moment without that toxic nonsense before him. I’m glad Chris is ok. Will learned nothing training for Ali. Will Smith’s punches are as soft as his raps. #Oscars.”

Conan O’Brien
“Just saw the Will Smith slap. Anyone have a late night show I can borrow just for tomorrow?” the former late-night host joked via Twitter.

Billy Eichner
“I’m getting under my couch,” the Billy on the Street host tweeted in response to the surprising moment.

Cher
“WENT OUT OF RM & MISSED REASON FOR WILL’S PUNCH..JUST SAW IT, BUT STILL NOT SURE WHY,” Cher, always one to tweet her mind, wrote.

Sophia Bush
“Violence isn’t ok. Assault is never the answer,” the One Tree Hill alum shared on Twitter. “Also? This is the 2nd time that Chris has made fun of Jada on the #Oscars stage, & tonight he went after her alopecia. Punching down at someone’s auto-immune disease is wrong. Doing so on purpose is cruel. They both need a breather.”

Shanola Hampton
“There is NEVER a justification for VIOLENCE! Never, ever, ever!!” the Shameless star tweeted.

The Chainsmokers
“Will smith just fully sent it and punched Chris rock in the face on the Oscar’s,” Alex Pall and Drew Taggart tweeted from The Chainsmokers’ account.

Mirai Nagasu
“Hahaha thank you Japanese television,” the Olympic medalist tweeted, enjoying the fact that the incident — with both actors’ remarks — aired in full.

Richard Marx
The singer-songwriter appeared to side with Rock, tweeting, “I like Oscar winners who don’t slap comedians across the face over a joke.”

Source & Credit: usmagazine.com

 

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