Tonight at the Oscars, there was a moment that stands out above all others: Chris Rock getting smacked in the face by Will Smith. It is absolutely odd that the most memorable clip of the night has nothing to do with the awards themselves.
After this moment happened, we were insanely eager to learn if Will would address it in the event that he won Best Actor for King Richard. That’s why he was there, and the entire ceremony was thrown completely off the rails by what happened beforehand. Our prediction ahead of time was that if he won, Will wouldn’t spend that much time on it — mostly because he probably had something planned and didn’t want to give the incident that much oxygen.
Well, Will did win the Oscar, and had a brief conversation with his wife before heading up and collecting the award. The room greeted him with love, and he kicked things off with a joke that Richard Williams as a “fierce defender of his family.” That was all he said about it, but that’s all he really had to say … at least at first.
For a while, it did not seem like Smith was going to bring it back into focus, but he did that by eventually apologizing to the Academy and some of the other nominees. Notably, he did not apologize to Chris Rock himself — he may not regret standing up for his wife, but he clearly regrets taking time away from the rest of the show. This is the key distinction: He apologized for the act of hitting Chris Rock, but not for actually doing it in those specific circumstances.
The weirdest part of Smith’s speech was the Oscars not showing him accidentally spitting in the middle of the speech.
Do we imagine that there’s going to be more fallout down the road? Probably, but we don’t think either Chris or Will is going to spend that much time dwelling on it. The moment was here, and now it’s done. Our prediction was wrong in the end; he discussed it more than we thought he would, as he realized the importance of the moment and that it would be thing most remembered from the night.
What did you think about Will Smith’s Oscars speech?
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