On March 27, 2022, one of the most infamous and surreal moments in the history of American cinema occurred. During the 94th Academy Awards ceremony, actor and comedian Chris Rock made a comment about Jada Pinkett Smith that her husband, Will Smith, did not take well at all. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air actor responded by going up on stage and slapping the gala's presenter, an incident that went around the world.
A year and a half after the events, there are still consequences for those involved. This was made known by the actress and comedian Leslie Jones, a friend of Rock, who reported that she resorted to psychological treatment to overcome what happened. According to her words, she had to attend therapy accompanied by her daughters, Lola and Zahra, for a time. Likewise, the interpreter expressed her disdain for the incident, stating that she would have gone to the Dolby Theater if it were nearby.
“That shit was humiliating. She really affected him. People should understand that his daughters and his parents saw it. “He had to go to therapy with his daughters,” he told People magazine. About the moment, Jones told the publication about the unnerving anger he felt. “You don't know that I was about to get in my car and drive there. “I was fucking angry on so many levels,” he said, sharing a sentiment that many expressed after what happened.
The actress added that Smith should have apologized to Rock before the gala concluded, when he received the Best Actor award for his performance in The Williams Method. In her speech, she apologized to the Academy and the public present in Los Angeles, only leaving the man she slapped absent from the list. The next morning, the actor issued a statement of apology to the presenter, before resigning from his position in the representative entity of cinema in the United States.
Despite his departure, the entity prohibited him from attending any gala or event held under his signature for the next ten years. However, Smith remains eligible to choose awards and at no time was the statuette he won that night taken away from him. It wasn't until a year later that Chris Rock spoke out again on the matter. He did it through a special filmed for Netflix and without filters, attacking the interpreter for his actions.
"Did it hurt? It still hurts, I have the blow ringing in my ear, but I am not a victim. You will never see me on Oprah (Winfrey) or Gayl (King) crying, it will never happen. I took the hit like (boxer Manny) Pacquiao. Many people have asked me, how come you didn't do anything that night? Because I have parents and they taught me that you should not fight in front of white people,” he told the audience that he attended the recording.