Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Will Smith slaps presenter before he won Oscar for best actor

“The slap that ended it all,” as Twitter is calling it, has all but eclipsed Will Smith’s first Oscar – minutes before he won Best Actor.

Will Smith slapped and swore at presenter Chris Rock joking about wife Jada Pinkett. 

It all blew up when Chris Rock joked that Jade Pinkett should be in a GI Jane movie, referencing her shaved head – Jada suffers from alopecia. Her reaction was an eyeroll and Will Smith, sitting beside her, appeared to laugh. The camera cut back to Chris Rock, only to catch Will storming up to him and taking a swing. It landed. Returning to his seat, Will yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f**king mouth.”

It soon became apparent that the moment was unscripted and not a planned skit. The next presenter, Sean Combs – known to fans variously as P Diddy, Puff Daddy and the like – attempted damage control. Diddy, introducing the 50th anniversary celebration of The Godfather, “Will and Chris, we’re going to solve that like a family. Right now we’re moving on with love.”

In a brief statement posted on its official Twitter handle, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which presents the Oscars, said it did not “condone violence.” 

The statement read: “The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.” 

No names were named, not in the Academy’s statement nor in Will Smith’s acceptance speech which he used to apologise.

Meanwhile, Chris Rock will not be filing a police report against Will Smith, the Los Angeles Police Department or LAPD said. “LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program. The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report,” the LAPD said in a statement, reports news agency PTI.

By the time his Best Actor win was announced, Will Smith appeared to have regretted losing his temper. “I want to apologise to the academy. I want to apologise to all my fellow nominees… Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things,” the 53-year-old actor said in an emotional speech. 

He also revealed what fellow Best Actor nominee Denzel Washington had told him in the previous commercial break: “Thank you Denzel, who said to me a few minutes ago… he said, ‘at your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.'”

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