By now, the entire world is likely aware of what went down at the 2022 Oscars. However, if the news has somehow eluded you until now, here’s the breakdown: Chris Rock made a joke about Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Will Smith took umbrage with the comedian’s insensitive joke and walked up on stage to assault Rock.
Additionally, Smith added the comment, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.” Other than shocking an entire audience in the room and at home, it brought up questions of award show ethics, what comes next from an occurrence like this one?
Will Smith was given an opportunity to make a statement earlier than expected when he picked up the Academy Award for his performance as Richard Williams, the father of tennis icons Serena and Venus Williams in King Richard.
Smith addressed the audience: “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’ve got to be able to take abuse. You got to be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you’ve got to be able to have people disrespecting you, and you’ve got to smile, you’ve got to pretend like that’s OK.”
What’s more, Will Smith revealed some words of wisdom, which fellow actor Denzel Washington apparently divulged to him during the commercial break. “What I loved was, Denzel [Washington] said to me a few moments ago, he said, ‘At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you’.”
This seems to ring especially true in this situation, as he went on to win the Oscar for the Best Actor category that very same night. That, combined with Chris Rock choosing not to press charges, has likely left Will Smith with quite a lot of reflecting to do, especially when it comes to his reactions to stressful situations like these.