By Jeremy Binning
Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith have been looked at as “couple goals” since the two married in 1997. Over the past few years, they’ve been making headlines stemming from numerous rumors of infidelity between the two. In July 2020, Will and Jada made an appearance on Jada’s show, “Red Table Talk”, where the two explained what was actually going on in their relationship.
Jada was accused by fans on social media of having an affair with singer August Alsina after August publicly admitted to being with Jada for a period of time, with Will’s blessing. The internet became a frenzy and immediately started to drag Will. The two explained what happened around that time on the show and explained how they worked through it. After the episode aired, Will became a meme as many felt he was allowing his wife to do whatever she wanted, which was far from the truth.
Fast forward two years later, the couple seems to be thriving as they attended this year’s Oscars, until things went left. Comedian legend, Chris Rock, was on stage presenting an award for the “Best Documentary Feature” category and as he does ever so often, was making a few jokes to the stars that filled the audience. However the joke of the night that stuck out was his “G.I. Jane” joke that he directed towards Jada.
Jada suffers from a medical condition called alopecia, which causes someone to suffer from hair loss. Jada had been open about this numerous times and what she goes through because of it so she did not take the joke lightly. After the joke was said, the camera caught Will laughing at the joke until he noticed his wife looking uncomfortable. At that point, the camera cuts back to Rock who is standing on stage. Will is then seen walking on stage towards Rock and slapped him across his face and storms back to his seat.
Many speculated that this was a part of the show as the audience laughed at the slap initially. Rock, baffled on stage, awkwardly tries to recover from the slap but is thrown off by what just took place. Will then explicitly yells at Rock to keep his wife’s name out his mouth. To which the crowd then realized it was not a joke and what just happened was real.
Daniel Cantwell, a senior majoring in broadcast journalism, saw the situation as an “awkward encounter between two legends”. Both being well-decorated actors, the situation brought out the lows in both. “Will has been laughed at for years because of his marriage with Jada and it shows how much it really got to him.”
The recent altercation has had many picking sides as to who was in the wrong. Many people feel Will was defending his wife and took appropriate actions. Others feel this wasn’t the time nor the place for Will to address Rock for his insensitive joke.
“It was confirmed on Twitter that Chris didn’t even write the joke, the writers for the Oscars did.” Quin Lee, a junior majoring in public relations, talked about how this could have a lasting impact on Will’s career. “I think he’s gonna regret this and if I was Chris, I’d keep it cordial but probably never be friends with him again.”