Last night at the 95th Academy Awards it was an historic night, we saw Jane Campion become only the third woman in history win Best Director.
Campion was also the first woman to be nominated twice in the category, her first nomination coming in 1994 for The Piano.
Jessica Chastain took home Best Actress, Ariana DeBose swooped up Best Supporting Actress, Kenneth Branagh took away Best Screenplay and Coda took Best Picture.
Did Will Smith deserve the Best Actor Award at the Oscars?
Will Smith ended up winning the Best Actor award for his performance in King Richard.
I’ve long waited (although he’s waited more..) for Smith to win an Academy Award.
Pursuit of Happyness was arguably his best performance and he came up short in 2007.
Smith was also in Michael Mann’s Ali back in 2002 and he ended up missing out on the Best Actor Oscar despite delivering an astounding performance as the greatest boxer of all time.
So, in 2022, it was third time lucky for Smith with King Richard.
However, the mood (despite the subsequent standing ovation after his acceptance speech) was muted as a result of him slapping Chris Rock and shouting at him to ‘keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth’.
What had happened? How has the persona of Smith, and indeed the public image which he and a team of publicists have managed to keep in high regard change overnight?
Well, it all has to do with Chris Rock and a joke he made at Smith’s wife’s (Jada Pinkett Smith) expense.
Rock started off with a much more light hearted joke about Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz whilst presenting the nominees for Best Documentary during the ceremony.
The actor/comedian then mentioned his love for Smith and Pinkett-Smith and then quipped,
Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2.
We saw Smith play the joke off with a polite laugh for the camera.
However, the joker visibly angered or perhaps embarrassed Pinkett-Smith.
Will Smith slapping Chris Rock
Next what followed will go down in Academy Awards history as Smith walked on stage and proceed to slap Rock across the face.
As Rock tried to recover, Smith shouted from the seating, to not mention his wife’s name again.
Now the internet is rife with comments that incident was actually scripted, which would be utterly ridiculous, especially with the audio picking up (not brilliantly) the comments after the incident.
This slap was real.
Jada Pinkett Smith has been diagnosed with Alopecia, which can inevitably end up with her losing her hair.
There is slight uncertainty of whether Rock knew about Pinkett Smith’s disease.
But has Smith taken away all the glory from his own first win all because of this slap?
Could this, as Smith hinted at during his acceptance speech, the actor’s last time at the Academy Awards?
Has Will Smith tanked his career with one slap?
Given how talented Smith is, it shouldn’t be.
That said, audiences will not remember Smith’s incredible performance in King Richard, but rather the fact that he slapped one of the world’s most famous comedians.
Smith showed a human side understandably of anger, adrenaline, but also one of a lack of control.
Besides Tom Cruise, he’s perhaps the biggest movie star of the past 50 years, and within an instant has perhaps ruined his career.
At your highest moment, that’s when the devil comes for you.
These are words Denzel Washington had just said to Will Smith before the Oscars, and perhaps, he was right.
Has the devil come for Smith right after he finally bagged himself the Oscar he’s been fighting for all these years.
I really hope not, but the possibility is there.
What do you make of all of this?
Do you think Will Smith has tanked his career in one slap?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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