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Will Smith’s Oscars slap sets off political, entertainment worlds

Associated Press/Chris Pizzello

The political and entertainment worlds are reacting to one of the most stunning moments in Oscars history, after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage when the comedian made a joke about the “King Richard” star’s wife.

The jaw-dropping moment Sunday occurred after Rock mocked Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head while making several wisecracks before announcing the winner in a documentary category. 

After the quip, Smith unexpectedly took to the stage and slapped Rock. “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—— mouth!” Smith yelled to Rock upon returning to his seat, according to uncensored broadcasts of the awards ceremony. 

The fiery exchange ignited a furious eruption on social media.

Former “The View” co-host Meghan McCain suggested that not even politics was so dysfunctional.

“Knocked Up” director Judd Apatow slammed Smith for the physical show of force, blasting the best actor winner for displaying “out of control rage and violence.”


Comedian Kathy Griffin said the televised altercation could lead to further violence outside of Hollywood. 

Matthew Dowd, a former Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in Texas, questioned if the public would have reacted differently to Smith confronting a female comedian.


And Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.) apparently deleted a tweet in which she praised Smith for defending his wife. 

Michael Steele, the former Republican National Committee chief, called the incident and its aftermath a “sad commentary.”

But several lawmakers appeared to make light of the incident.

Updated on March 28 at 7:42 a.m.

Tags Academy Awards Amy Schumer Andy Biggs Ayanna Pressley Chris Rock Megan McCain Meghan McCain Oscars Peter Meijer Will Smith

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