Oscars 2022: What is the problem between Chris Rock, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith?

The slap in the face on the Oscar stage on March 27, 2022, was the culmination of a conflict with ancient roots.
“Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” Will Smith said, in his Oscar acceptance speech for Best Actor, after having slapped Chris Rock.Photograph by Robyn Beck / Getty 
Why did Will Smith bother to punch another star on live television? Why ruin one of the biggest nights of his career and possibly ruin his reputation? Many fans of the comedian must be wondering after the hallucinating altercation between the actor and the comedian on the Oscars stage on the night of March 27-28, 2022. First, we need to know why Chris Rock’s joke went over so badly. Chris Rock made a joke about Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, by comparing her hair, cut short, to Demi Moore’s shaved head in Ridley Scott’s film G.I. Jane (1997). If Will Smith laughs at the jokes of the comedian, his wife, quickly understands the reference and raises her eyes to the sky, visibly not amused that we attack his appearance so
It must be said that the shaved head of Jada Pinkett Smith is not an aesthetic choice. She has publicly spoken in the past about her alopecia (hair loss) on social networks and always talks seriously about this medical condition that strikes many black women. Chris Rock has certainly hit where it hurts and Will Smith was quick to avenge his wife. At least that’s the reasoning behind his apology

The spikes of 2016

But Chris Rock also has a habit of attacking the Smith couple and Jada Pinkett Smith in particular. And for the couple, the cup seemed full. The last time Chris Rock presented a sequence at the Oscars was in 2016, the year the Oscars faced the “Oscars So White” controversy. Will Smith and his wife did not go to the ceremony since the actor had not been selected for his role in Peter Landesman’s Alone Against All. The fact that Jada boycotted the ceremony in solidarity with her husband had been mocked by Chris Rock. “But isn’t she just on TV? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like saying I was boycotting Rihanna’s panties: I wasn’t invited!”

“It wasn’t fair that Will wasn’t nominated this year. That’s true, you have to understand it. But it wasn’t fair either that Will Smith was paid $20 million for his role in Wild Wild West,” Chris Rock said to a hilarious audience.

A regular target

The Smith couple is especially the regular target of humorists and the American press for a decade. Rumors, jokes and editorials more or less in good taste about the couple and their extramarital relations have been feeding the humorists for a long time. In general, Will and Jada welcome these jokes with a smile. The couple even demonstrated at the beginning of the Oscars 2022 that they are perfectly comfortable with jokes on this subject. Regina Hall, for example, called all the most handsome bachelors to join her on stage, but she added Will Smith to her list by indicating “your wife is okay, so you can follow me.” But what the couple tolerates from Regina Hall does not apply to Chris Rock.

The latter had made a joke of the same register in 2018. At the time, Will Smith had wished a happy birthday on Twitter to his ex Sheree Zampino. Chris Rock had been amused by this complicity by tweeting in turn “Wow. You have a very tolerant wife”. The repeated jokes of Chris Rock seem to pass more difficult. Especially since the comedian does not stop at this theme: he evokes their private life, tackles their careers and, this February 27, attacked the physique of Jada Pinkett Smith. In public, Will Smith explained very recently that the debate around the functioning of his couple delighted him because it could shed light on certain issues such as monogamy and communication in the couple”. His tolerance seems to have found its limit tonight

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