This Monday, during the 94th Academy Awards show, the star-studded, opulent, and momentous ceremony was rocked by an event that has the entire world talking, and temporarily forgetting about all of the other crazy shit going on right now.
In what has already been dubbed “The slap heard around the world“, Will Smith, one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars and an international acting icon, smacked legendary stand up comedian-cum-actor Chris Rock right in his soft loveable face, for his role in the 2013 film Grown Ups 2.
It’s been almost 9 years since Grown Ups 2 was released, and those who were fortunate enough to watch it still remember it as one of the best movies ever made. Written by and starring notable and hilarious actor Adam Sandler, the masterpiece also starred Chris Rock, alongside other comedy greats like David Spade and Kevin James and was critically acclaimed with an aggregate Rotten Tomatoes score of 8%.
The movie was so popular that it inspired the popular podcast The Worst Idea of All Time, featuring weekly, hour-long conversations between two hosts who loved the movie so much they watched it 52 times in a year.
Although most viewers remember the film fondly, and collectively gave it a MetaCritic score of 19/100 – it seems that Will Smith really hated it. Talk about being out of touch with society.
He hated it so much that after ruminating for nearly nearly a decade, he unleashed his built-up rage on Chris Rock, on national TV, at the globally-watched Oscar event.
Smith, who rose to fame for starring in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and has since bean a leading actor in dozens of critically-acclaimed movies which have collectively grossed over $9.3 billion globally, was enraged the moment he saw host Chris Rock take to the stage. Unable to hold himself back, he nonchalantly swaggered towards the stage, and smacked the comedian right in his face, before returning to his seat with a walk that looked like it came straight out of Bad Boys II.
The altercation didn’t end there however. Once seated, Will Smith went on an angry tirade aimed at Chris Rock, saying “Keep [that movie’s] name out of your F*CKING MOUTH!” before ranting about the first time he saw Grown Ups 2 premiere on TV.
This was confusing not just to viewers at home, but to the A-list audience too, as Chris was simply making a harmless joke about the widely-loved 1997 movie, G.I. Jane. It appeared however, that Smith’s absolute hatred for Grown Ups 2 clouded his judgment and he attacked Rock in a fit of blind rage anyway.
To describe the audiences reaction as awkward would be like calling Will and Jada-Pinkett Smith’s relationship slightly rocky– that is, it would be a huge understatement.
The audience were seemingly shocked and had no idea how to respond. In their daily lives, they’re so accustomed to being told exactly how to act, that this surprising turn of events left them dumbfounded. Silence and shock swept over the audience as they all started to remember seeing Grown Ups 2 too.
Chris Rock handled the situation like a pro however, and after taking a moment to collect himself said “That was the greatest night in the history of television!”, obviously referring to the night his movie was first shown on TV.
Despite Rock remaining calm and collected on stage immediately after being whacked on the head, he confided to his co-hosts that he was “extremely hurt” and that he thought Grown Ups 2 was really funny. “I really like Will Smith, it breaks my heart that he hates my movie”, he allegedly said.
It wasn’t long before the atmosphere was back to it’s usual self-absorbed, out-of-touch-with-reality display of extravagance and self-importance though. A mere 15 minutes later Smith received his Best Actor Oscar for his role in King Richard, a movie based on and named after the man who’s ejaculation created two of the world’s greatest female athletes.
Everybody present completely forgot the events of just a quarter of an hour before, as Smith took to the stage for a second time that night to receive his award, and gave a standing ovation to commend the actor for finally speaking up against Chris Rock’s 2013 performance. So apparently it wasn’t just Smith who hated Grown Ups 2.
Smith didn’t waste the rare opportunity of speaking to a room full of fellow Hollywood-stars and viewers at home, using it to deliver a heart-felt, emotional speech explaining his actions.
He spoke directly from the soul, explaining that “In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world” (to hit Chris Rock) and “I want to be an ambassador of that kind of love and care and concern” (by assaulting people on National TV). His speech went on for over two minutes as he spoke about being a vessel for love, and how this was a “a beautiful moment and [he’s] not crying“. It was evident that he had finally got closure. The Slap was all he needed to be able to get over the events of nine years ago.
“I want to be an ambassador of that kind of love and care and concern”Will Smith, fifteen minutes after smashing Chris Rock’s face
Although the celebrities were lost for words in the immediate moments following The Slap, they all had plenty to say about the event both on the red carpet and online. Opinions seem to be quite divided on supporting Chris Rock or Will Smith, as if it’s hard to decide whether assaulting comedians on TV is OK or if Grown Ups 2 was really that bad.
Will’s son Jaden, approved of his father’s actions. Jaden Smith is widely renowned for his insightful and deep Tweets laden with hidden meanings. Assumingly here he is agreeing with his dad’s reaction to Sandler’s best movie of all time.
Zoe Kravitz used the publicity to show off her dress and express her disapproval of people getting assaulted on stage. Fans responded appropriately by agreeing that her dress was “just perfection”.
One Direction heart-throb Liam Payne spent a coke-fueled three minutes incoherently rambling in a variety of accents saying that he had no stance, everyone was in the wrong, we’re all human and that we should “take the beauty out of it” and we got to “watch the world’s best emoter (what?)”.
Overall, the whole scandal has got the world talking and divided on opinions yet again. This week’s news cycle is dominated by the events of 2022 Oscars, despite nobody giving a shit about them in 2021.
After almost a whole month of ‘Western society’ appearing united in their hate for Putin and support for Ukraine, we’re back to our old ways of disagreeing on current events once again. Many are showing support for Smith, saying he did what he needed to do, while a large number of people stand with Chris Rock and against violence in all of its forms.
Whatever your opinions are on the whole matter, I know what I’ll be doing to show my support. I’ll be watching Grown Ups 2, sitting cozily by the flaming pile of my 6-season DVD set of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Bad Boys Trilogy boxset, while I fantasize about an A-lister aggressively defending me from people making jokes about my haircut. Oh boy do I love to be alive in 2022.