Will Smith news – live: ‘Outraged’ Academy promises ‘appropriate action’ against actor over Oscars slap

Will Smith punches Chris Rock at the Oscars

This year’s Oscars featured shocks, sighs and surprises – but all anyone will care about is a slap. The Academy Awards took place on Sunday night, with films including The Power of the Dog, West Side Story, Licorice Pizza and Coda battling it out in the big categories.

The biggest story of the night had almost nothing to do with the awards: a shocking altercation between Will Smith and Chris Rock sparked by a joke about Smith’s wife Jada. Smith walked up onto the stage and appeared to smack Rock in the face, before shouting at him to not refer to his wife again.

It undoubtedly overshadowed the night as a whole, and notably – just minutes later – Smith’s win of the Best Actor Oscar for King Richard. Through tears, Smith called himself “a vessel of love” and apologised to the Academy. The LAPD confirmed that Rock is not pressing charges. The Academy said it “does not condone violence of any form” and launched a “formal review” into what happened. Hours later, Smith apologised to Rock and said he was “embarrassed”.

Following the on-stage incident, celebrities including Alec Baldwin and Adam Sandler have spoke out in support of Rock, whose forthcoming comedy tour has since experienced a huge surge of interest.

You can follow all the developments about the “slap that was heard around the world” in our live blog below…


‘Can’t take a joke, stay home’ – Katherine Ryan on Will Smith

Katherine Ryan has opened up a discussion with her social media followers to speak about the shocking Oscars slap, with the comedian later sharing screenshots of their conversations to her Instagram stories.

In one screenshot, a social media user wrote to Ryan: “I don’t condone what he did, violence is never the answer but just because Chris is a ‘comedian’, it means Will has to sit and watch his wife be insulted? Chris shouldn’t have said it, Will shouldn’t have hit him.”

Ryan responded: “Yes, he has to sit and watch his wife be insulted, yes that’s the point of the celeb monologue.”

“Can’t take a joke, stay home,” she added.

You can read Annabel Nugent’s report here:

Maanya Sachdeva30 March 2022 10:26


Chris Rock ‘had no idea’ Jada Pinkett Smith had alopecia before Oscars

While Chris Rock is yet to publicly acknowledge Will Smith’s apology for hitting him on live television, it has been said by a source, via TMZ , that Rock “had no idea” Jada Pinkett Smith has alopecia.

A source close to Rock has also claimed that the comedian and Smith are yet to speak to one another about the incident – despite rapper P Diddy’s earlier assertion that the two had made up after their shocking altercation.

Jacob Stolworthy has the full story:

Maanya Sachdeva30 March 2022 09:13


Academy leadership promises ‘appropriate action’ against Will Smith

The Academy has promised to determine the “appropriate action” against Will Smith over the “slap heard around the world”.

In a letter to its members, which was obtained by Variety, Academy leadership has said they were “upset and outraged” that Smith’s actions eclipsed what was meant to be a “celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past last year.”

Signed by president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson, the letter read: “To be clear, we condemn Mr Smith’s actions that transpired Sunday night.”

Read the full story here:

Maanya Sachdeva30 March 2022 07:37


Police investigate drone sighting near Will Smith’s LA home

Police personnel were called to investigate a drone sighting near Will Smith’s Los Angeles mansion two days after “The Slap.”

A spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Office told news media that police arrived at Smith’s house after someone reported a drone flying through the neighbourhood. However, they declined to comment on whether the complaint was lodged by a member of the Smith family or a separate resident.

“We just sent that unit over there to try to locate the drone and see if there was a paparazzi or what was going on,” Deputy Lizette Salcon told Page Six.

Peony Hirwani has the full story:

Maanya Sachdeva30 March 2022 06:17


Zoë Kravitz is not impressed with The Slap

The Batman star Zoë Kravitz is the latest celebrity to voice her displeasure at Will Smith slapping Chris Rock.

The actress posted a photo to Instagram on Tuesday of herself on the red carpet, looking nonplussed.

“Here’s a picture of my dress at the show where we are apparently assaulting people on stage now,” she wrote.

Josh Marcus30 March 2022 04:30


Another Will Smith critic weighs in: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

Scores of celebrities have voiced their opinion on Will Smith slapping Chris Rock, with many offering harsh criticism of the King Richard actor’s behaviour.

NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the latest to join the fray.

In a post Tuesday on his Substack blog, the former Los Angeles Laker big man wrote that, “When Will Smith stormed onto the Oscar stage to strike Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife’s short hair, he did a lot more damage than just to Rock’s face. With a single petulant blow, he advocated violence, diminished women, insulted the entertainment industry, and perpetuated stereotypes about the Black community.”

Here’s how others have reacted to The Slap.

Josh Marcus30 March 2022 04:00


Slap-happy: Twitter users keep tagging the wrong Will Smith over Oscars altercation

A man who shares the same name as Will Smith, and is verified on Twitter, has been the target of abuse on the social media platform since Sunday evening as users continue to mistake him for the King Richard actor.

Those upset by Sunday night’s events have been voicing their criticisms of Smith on Twitter.

Unfortunately, the actor does not appear to have a verified Twitter account, and social media users have been levelling their comments at a non-famous man who shares his name.

Will Smith, a podcast host who works in communications for video game developer Stray Bombay, wrote in a tweet on Sunday: “Real talk, I’m not the person you’re upset/happy with. I make podcasts and video games for a living.

Read more of Saman Javed’s story for Indy/Life.

Josh Marcus30 March 2022 03:21


What are our Voices columnists saying about The Slap?

Charles Arrowsmith explored how Will Smith’s past may help explain what happened.

What went wrong? Who can say. Smith writes in his memoir that his perfectionist obsession with success is born of insecurity. His was a childhood scarred by violence and a complicated relationship with an abusive father. His straight-edge, upbeat persona was not just the key to his early accomplishments in hip-hop, TV, and movies but also a defense mechanism. “I’d conflated being successful with being loved and being happy,” he writes. Perhaps seeing his wife being insulted at the moment he reached the pinnacle of his achievements was a knock he felt he simply couldn’t abide.

Meanwhile, Victoria Gagliardo-Silver considered the particular nastiness of Chris Rock’s joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, given his past work on a documentary highlighting cultural stigmas around Black women’s appearances.

Chris Rock was uniquely positioned to be sensitive about this issue, which is what makes his joke even more difficult to understand. In 2009, he fronted a documentary called Good Hair that explored the ways in which Black women’s hair is stigmatized in western societies. At the time, he explained the reasoning for why he wanted to make the documentary, saying that his three-year-old daughter had asked him, “Daddy, how come I don’t have good hair?” That was supposedly a lightbulb moment for Rock, where he came to realize the pressure Black women are under to have hair that meets an unattainable standard.

Josh Marcus30 March 2022 02:50


Oscars bartender shares behind-the-scenes insight into award ceremony: ‘Everybody stopped drinking after slap’

An Oscars bartender has shared insight into the star-studded awards ceremony, and which celebrities were the nicest at the 94th annual Academy Awards.

The Oscars took place on Sunday at the Dolby Theatre in California, with the awards ceremony encompassing a number of notable moments, such as an incident which saw Will Smith smack Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

According to bartender Daniel Ralston, who reportedly worked the event, the moment led to shift in the atmosphere at the awards ceremony, as he claimed on Twitter that “everybody stopped drinking after the slap”.

“Bartended the Oscars. Everybody stopped drinking after the slap,” Ralston wrote on Twitter on 28 March.

Chelsea Ritschel has the details for Indy/Life.

Josh Marcus30 March 2022 02:21


Lest we forget: This was also Samuel L Jackson’s big night

(Getty Images)

Discussion around the Oscars has, not very shockingly, centered around Will Smith slapping Chris Rock, but some on Twitter are highlighting one of the lesser-told stories of the awards season: How legendary actor Samuel L Jackson finally won his Oscar.

The Pulp Fiction star was awarded a lifetime achievement award on Friday during a non-televised portion of the Oscars weekend.

Josh Marcus30 March 2022 01:50

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