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Slap Heard Round the World

by Hanery Scott

The Academy Awards were over a week ago, but that does not mean the world is still not discussing the most shocking moment in television history. If you made your predictions today for the Oscars, you might have won your bets, but nobody could have predicted the slap.

The opening monologue is the best part of the Oscars because a comedian gets up and roasts the untouchable Hollywood actors. Very few times do Hollywood actors receive criticism, so this is a great spot to see how they react in the moment.

The 2021 show host was Chris Rock, and he gave a terrific opening speech. However, Will Smith did not like one of the jokes directed at his wife. This caused Smith to walk to the stage and slap Rock in the face. Nobody knew if this was a joke, but when Smith started crying and screaming, it was definite that the moment was not staged.

The television producers muted the audio so people could not hear Smith screaming, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fu***** mouth.” The fallout from this is still ongoing, and many questions remain regarding the incident.

Is Will Smith’s Career Destroyed?

Will Smith tarnished his reputation in a few seconds during the Oscars. There were actors that took his side, but for the most part, people sided with Rock. The point of the opening monologue at the Academy Awards is to roast the talent in attendance. This has been the way things have been forever, so Smith took it too literally.

Smith won best actor for his role in King Richard, which is crazy. The Academy allowed a man who assaulted Rock to step on stage and give an acceptance speech. Smith should be financially set at this point in his life, but studios and directors may not want to work with Smith in the future.

This is unknown at this point, just one week removed from the event. Nevertheless, cancel culture could come down hard on Smith even after apologizing. Scott Mendelson, an entertainment reporter for Forbes, stated, “the Oscar incident shattered a carefully crafted 30-year image of approachable, harmless, and always-on movie star charisma.”

Chris Rock Has Not Given Much of a Statement

Chris Rock has not given much of a statement following the incident. His first show after the Academy Awards took place in Boston at the Wilbur Theatre. There were people in attendance looking for Rock to tell jokes about the slap.

He immediately addressed the elephant in the room but did not reveal many thoughts on the slap.

He said, “I don’t have a bunch of s*** about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I had like a whole show I wrote before this weekend. And I’m still kind of processing what happened, so at some point, I’ll talk about that s***. And it’ll be serious, and it’ll be funny, but right now I’m going to tell some jokes.”

Rock’s brother took to Twitter to make jokes saying his brother was still rich following the slap. Rock will likely get richer following the attack because he will find a way to monetize it through his jokes.

Will the Academy Do Anything?

The slap dampened the Academy Awards. The Academy seemed like they were pressured into taking actions against Smith for his violence. Three days following the event, the Academy announced they were taking disciplinary action against the award winner.

They stated, “we will continue to move forward with our disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct in advance of our next scheduled board meeting on April 18.”

However, it’s unlikely the Academy will do anything unless there is pressure from outside sources. The fact they allowed Smith to accept the award says everything you need to know. They had no interest in punishing Smith for his actions, which upset a lot of people.

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