Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at Oscars
Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars, then tried to justify it in his award speech later.

The following guest sermon was submitted by ULC minister Richard Becerra. All ULC Ministers are invited to contribute their own sermons for consideration/publication. To submit a sermon, please email it to sermons@ulc.org.


It’s being called the slap heard ‘round the world. Like the rest of the planet, I was stunned to see actor Will Smith storm the Oscar stage and smack comedian Chris Rock after a cruel joke at Smith’s wife’s expense.

But I was possibly even more stunned when Smith took to the stage just minutes later for his Best Actor acceptance speech and invoked his faith in Jesus Christ in defense and called himself a "vessel of love." For this, he received a standing ovation.

Will Smith single-handedly stole the show, but since when is justifying violence with faith worthy of applause?

Between a Rock and a Hard Palm

I initially assumed that the slap was a scripted stunt to shore up declining Oscar ratings. But it quickly became apparent on social media that this was the real deal. 

For anyone who missed the "slap heard 'round the world," here's what happened:

Chris Rock was on stage to present an award and made a tasteless joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. “Jada, I love ya - G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,” he quipped. Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia, which causes hair loss, but it is unclear if Rock knew that at the time. Will Smith then stormed the stage and slapped Chris Rock across the face.

While the American broadcast went silent shortly after, international broadcasts were uncensored and widely and instantly available online. That footage reveals the incident was in fact not a ratings grab.

“Will Smith just slapped the sh– out of me,” a flabbergasted Rock said, as Will Smith cursed at him after returning to his seat.  “Keep your wife’s name out of your f—ing mouth,” Smith yelled in response.

WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE

Talk about awkward, but as the expression says, the show must go on. Shortly thereafter, Will Smith actually won the Best Actor award, which he was… present to accept? Usually, when people assault others they are removed from the premises, but apparently not in Hollywood. What followed was a shameful attempt to hide behind one's faith in order to justify using violence. 

And the Best Punch Award Goes To…

“In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world,” Smith’s acceptance speech began. “I'm being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people.”

Smith tried to draw a comparison between his character in the film King Richard to his behavior moments before, arguing that “I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.” 

“I want to be a vessel for love,” he claimed, shortly after hitting another man over a joke.

Smith also apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees, but, notably, not to Chris Rock.

As a Christian, Smith’s frankly strange defense – that the attack was somehow justified because his faith in God compels him to protect his family – doesn’t sit right with me. I don’t think a vessel of love would slug another man in the face.

Rock’s joke was undoubtedly in poor taste, but is this seriously how we’re resolving personal disputes? And what message does it send to children that Smith was present to receive his award moments later, and was given five uninterrupted minutes to pat himself on the back, during which he not only invoked his faith to defend his reprehensible actions but also managed to apologize to everyone except the person he'd actually harmed. 

Ironically, it was the man who sparked the controversy that I believe left the most lasting message. Chris Rock was struck violently in the face, but instead of retaliating, he stood his ground peacefully. Holding the microphone, he also could have another comment about Will Smith or his wife – and some think he would have been justified in doing so. But he refrained. Chris Rock quite literally turned the other cheek, and allowed the show to go on. 

Do two wrongs make a right? I would argue they certainly do not. Chris Rock understands that – why can't Will Smith?

The failure may cost him: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced it was considering consequences for Will Smith, including revoking his Best Actor award. 

[UPDATE]: Will Smith has issued an apology, this time including Chris Rock:

63 comments

  1. Reverend William Reynolds's Avatar Reverend William Reynolds

    I'm sorry to hear that it reflected on the monastery, but even though Will Smith should of handled Chris Rock talking about Wills wife was uncalled for as well. But in Wills defense, I may have done the same thing.

    1. Krystina S.'s Avatar Krystina S.

      It is NOT the 1st time Chris Rock has made a cruel joke about Jada Smith. Last time he hosted the Oscars, he also was nasty to her. That ain't Christian. It is mean and hateful and bullying to someone to call out their disfiguring medical condition in front of millions of people. Shame on Chris.

    2. Reverend William Reynolds's Avatar Reverend William Reynolds

      Will should have handled it differentl**

  1. Ryan's Avatar Ryan

    Sometimes there's only just so much any person can take, before they break. Still, with that being said, there seems to be more than meets the eye to this. Being a vessel of love however, and protecting people?.... after blindsiding another human being with a loud smack, those two actions are nowhere in the same category with one another. I'm happy for him that he wants to ascend in his life, but his actions spoke alot louder than his words.

    1. John's Avatar John

      I agree. I think Will snapped. Initially he was laughing at the joke and only when he saw the reaction of his wife did he respond. Additionally, he has been nominated for an Oscar in Ali, and The Pursuit of Happiness. I think he was feeling the pressure. Feels vindicated that his acting is on a par with his work in music.

  1. Cindy L Edgar's Avatar Cindy L Edgar

    Chris Rock with only joking when people can't take jokes and then do stupid stuff like Will Smith did he should have never got an award he should have been escorted off the premises and he should have apologize to Chris Rock nobody should be entitled to do what Will Smith did now that's going to go against him and we'll see how his career does after this really really sad he was even laughing before he went up there and smacked him in the face leave your drama at home Will Smith he's lucky that his wife wasn't but on public notice or a joke was made about her sleeping with another man but that's okay

    1. Robert Frizzell's Avatar Robert Frizzell

      There are jokes, then there are jokes in very poor taste. As a black man Chris Rock knows better than to go after a black woman's hair whether he knew about her condition or not. Chris has a history of "jokes" that degrade black women. It is time for comedians to be held accountable for saying offensive things then hiding behind "it was just a joke."

      1. ULC Rev Paul's Avatar ULC Rev Paul

        Yes, Robert Frizzell you are right on point about Rock knowing better than to go after a black woman's hair. The irony is he produced and hosted "Good Hair" a 2009 documentary about the $9 billion black hair industry. He know's more than your 'average bear' about this subject and African-American women's hair culture. Notwithstanding his motivation for the film was his own (then) three year old daughter asking him (how come I don't have good hair?" He should know above all else--family first.

        I do applaud, however, Rock's "turning the other cheek" and hope everyone involved and everyone who witnessed it might gain a nugget of undertstanding, compassion and knowledge.

    2. Matthew Westra's Avatar Matthew Westra

      "It's only a joke" has been the most pathetic tool to escape responsibility for reprehensible behavior. If someone makes a racist, sexist, hateful comment, and when called to account, simply replies, "I guess you can't take a joke!" it shows that the speaker is unwilling to acknowledge the destructiveness of words. Rock's words were at the expense of a person with a disability. That's not OK. Comedy is hard, and good comedy points out the lines in society, but good comedy needs to know how and when to cross these lines and in what context. The Oscars is a bland, "everybody" program. Like the Super Bowl Halftime show, we aren't pushing boundaries there. Would we have accepted Rock mimicking the voices or signing or Deaf people when CODA was mentioned, or when the actors came to the stage?

  1. Tom Thackrey's Avatar Tom Thackrey

    Toxic Masculinity at its worst. Sadly, it reinforces a stereotype about black men. If Jada was offended, she and Will could have just left the venue. The point would have been made without the assault. They were in a situation where offensive jokes are the norm. Amy Schumer's quip about Maggie and Jake Gyllenhaal being a romantic couple was far worse than Chris' joke about Jada's hair.

    With the slap, Will gave Chris the opportunity (which he took) to be the bigger man. On top of that, Will invoking God to justify his assault was very offensive.

  1. John P Maher's Avatar John P Maher

    WHAT DID JESUS SAY ? if A MAN SMITES YOUR CHEEK TURN to HIM THE OTHER, THE ROCK SHOULD HAVE KICKED WILL in THE NUTs, BUTT THE ROCK MUST RESPECT HIS FELLOW MAN in PUBLIC !

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    And someone tell me exactly how this effected this site? Or Christianity? Will Smiths Actions are completely his own and only a fool would go so far as to try and connect the Christian Religion and Smiths Actions. So it does not say much for the author of this tripe nor does it say much about the judgement of the monastery for deciding to post it.

    1. Reverend Dave's Avatar Reverend Dave

      I concur with you, sir. It is a bit of a reach as how this affects the monetary. Why they are even commenting on his, Wills, actions is beyond me.

  1. TJ's Avatar TJ

    We are not taught to accept being bullied. I understand how this could have seemed but Chris Rock has made Jada his target a few times and they were not jokes in good taste.

    If someone continued to humiliate your spouse several times I don't think many of us would be able to just "talk it out"... I would hope we could as the spouse to Jada I think he had every right to protect her well being.

    I do believe there may have been better way to handle it but bullying can only go so far.

  1. Lawrence Albert Taylor II's Avatar Lawrence Albert Taylor II

    There are two sides of this . While most people are saying Will Smith was in the wrong. What about what Chris Rock ? Why should he get away unpunished? Chris was wrong for making that joke about Jada. If you were raised to defend your family wife or husband then you applaud Smith for defending his wife's honor. If not it is a bad joke by Rock that went wrong.

  1. Allen Alexander's Avatar Allen Alexander

    If Will Smith wants to be offended, perhaps he should start with his wife having monkey sex with numerous people. Their children also are indiscriminate in their personal lives.. You can make the argument that it is their personal life, only they don't keep it private... Talking about it on national television makes it fair game for any comedian that comes along. He wants to say he was defending his wife's honor, but that horse left the stable a long time ago.

    1. Jean's Avatar Jean

      I have read over your statement several times, and I keep coming back to one phrase that I don't think I understand. What are you talking about when you say Will Smith's wife is having "monkey sex"? Is that a particular position? And to which primates are you referring? Capuchin monkeys? Chimpanzees? Lowland gorillas? I'm just trying to figure out what that means... "monkey sex"...

  1. Rev. Dr. G. Waldron's Avatar Rev. Dr. G. Waldron

    Will Smith is such a disappointment. Denzel is right - the devil comes in at your highest point. Will fell for it. Those trying to justify his actions are just wrong. He ruined the occasion and spoiled his Oscar win. His speech about God calling him to lover became meaningless, when he did not apologize for his angry slap on Chris Rock's face.

  1. Jean's Avatar Jean

    My we are a high and mighty bunch of hypocrites... what gods do we serve, anyway? Or do we actually serve any? We "preach" love and acceptance and non-judgmental behavior and then we go all soap-opera when another human being falls down in front of everyone. Will Smith screwed up. A man insulted his wife, and he reacted instead of thinking. Chris Rock screwed up. He insulted a man's wife without thinking. Kudos to Chris for not trying to exact revenge for the insult of being slapped. Kudos to Will for attempting to apologize - albeit not well thought out until the next day, but then he had already demonstrated that he was feeling, not thinking, that evening. Kudos to those who tried to comfort Jada and Will and whoever else needed comforting. Do we have perfect knowledge of the motivations, the histories of these two men, the emotional pain Jada may have been experiencing about her alopecia... No, we do not. The last man who is purported to have been perfect, without sin, was crucified. And HE exhorted us to not judge, to love one another, to recognize that no one is perfect. Even hanging on the cross, he forgave people through his agony. What does this event have to do with religion? How does this event affect the Monastery? How does it relate to Christianity? Open your eyes. Look in the mirror. Read the comments. Get down on your knees or however you posture when approaching whatever deity you worship - if any. Let that deity speak to you, truly, in your heart. Then go look in the mirror again. We aren't perfect either. We certainly aren't without sin. And we are so ignorant about what lies in each other's hearts... let these two men work this out between themselves. Being a bully is wrong. Violence is wrong. Judgment is wrong. So we're all wrong. I'm gonna go get more coffee. I hear there's a war going on somewhere...

    1. Timothy Newell's Avatar Timothy Newell

      And the whole incident at the Oscars is in proper perspective. I thought the same thing. There's something more important happening in the Ukraine.

    2. Joy L Weber's Avatar Joy L Weber

      Thank you, Jean. Well said!

  1. Torre Huffines's Avatar Torre Huffines

    We have to stop finding ANY value in this sort of nonsense. False idols fighting over false virtue is not newsworthy or informative. We should be focused on bringing a higher sense of self forward in society (starting with our example) and ACTUALLY doing the work of ministry- inform, lead, reach, and support.

    This is not about celebrities and their actions but everyone and their attention to what matters most (health, science, environment, society, identity, and expression.)

  1. Stefan Konrad Martin Lenz's Avatar Stefan Konrad Martin Lenz

    Everyone choses his actions and creates personal Karma through it. Both have chosen a path. One of them verbal violence, the other physical violence. Both will suffer the consequences. It is sad to see this.

  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    It’s all theatre! Someone is being slapped somewhere every day. In their case, it’s more newsworthy, and it sells. It’s all to do with……….money.

    🦁❤️

  1. JaZe's Avatar JaZe

    Let the curtain fall on this act, please.

  1. Juanita Sanders Cribb's Avatar Juanita Sanders Cribb

    I am absolutely appalled and disappointed with this conversation here on this site. There is no human being on the planet that is perfect. So why are we having this discussion?

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    What does this have to do with religion? It's a street fight on stage being broadcast to millions of viewers around the world. Just reinforces in everyone's eyes the violence in America. This was black on black violence. What if it were white on black? Or Black on white? Now that would make of a different story.

  1. Michael Hall's Avatar Michael Hall

    Will Smith is a public figure, as is Jada Pinkett-Smith. Both should know that they are targets for ribbing at awards shows. Now, Chris Rock may or may not have known about Ms. Pinkett-Smith's alopecia, which was why she had shaved her head. If so, the joke was in questionable taste. If not, it was a decent joke, even if the reference to G.I. Jane was a little dated. Maybe some boos or heckling was called for. But for Mr. Smith to have slapped Mr. Rock crossed the line. Fortunately for Mr. Smith, Mr. Rock has not sought to press charges. He was probably much more surprised than injured.

    1. JaZe's Avatar JaZe

      It was a cheap joke like the guy didnt have a good repertoir of good ones.

  1. Tom Thackrey's Avatar Tom Thackrey

    Comment removed by user.

  1. Nicholas J Page's Avatar Nicholas J Page

    Although I don't condone violence I'm on Will Smith's side.You don't use tasteless jokes about Jada's alopecia or any other conditions about another man's wife in public.Both men have apologised to each other.Which has been accepted.Leave it at that.Personally I don't like Chris Rock I have seen him in The Rush Hour Movies and Lethal Weapon his eyes are always bulging when he opens his mouth and acting.Thats not right.

    1. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

      Since both men have apologized to each other, it is as over for them as it can get, except for the consequences for Will Smith if the Academy discontinues his membership or revokes his award. That still leaves, however, the larger questions of whether violence is ever justified in defense of loved ones and it is possible to be a Christian and use any violence or a great deal of violence in defense of loved ones or people, generally. We are all currently witnessing a war in Ukraine where Orthodox Christian and other Christian Ukrainian soldiers are doing very much more than slapping some other people in defense of their country, such as shooting and bazookaing them and otherwise backing them up. World War II was, of course, an even bigger example of this principle of attacking bullies when words alone aren't going to deter them from their offenses. George S. Patton was a devout believer in prayers and, in his way, a very serious Christian, and in that war also slapped some soldiers, not out of love of slapping soldiers, but in order to shame them into courage and accepting their responsibilities as men and soldiers, and got into trouble over that, too, as Will Smith may have gotten into trouble over his slapping Chris Rock. Patton admitted that his method may have been wrong, but hoped that people could understand his motivation. Christ Himself drove the moneychangers out of the Temple with a scourge because of their profanation of temple grounds by selling and buying there. Christian knights have fought against and killed others who were attacking Christian lands. Some of them overstepped their bounds on that and defense of their country when they went on Crusades to take control of Jerusalem. So, it was certainly making it far too big of a deal, much bigger than it was, and blowing it out of proportion, to have raised any fuss about a man's slapping another man for insulting his wife, which isn't even as much as we see Will Smith and other actors do in the movies and the Academy Awards are just more entertainment. But, yes, of course, he should have restrained himself, as other men have done when their wives have been insulted or used by other men for their pleasure in adultery, and, as is traditional, caught the man out in the parking lot, instead of right there in front of everyone, or caught him in private later, if he insisted on doing anything about it at all.

    2. David M Hines's Avatar David M Hines

      If you're on Will Smith's side, you condone violence.

      1. John D. Partin's Avatar John D. Partin

        Thousands or even millions of husbands and wives around the world are slapping or assaulting or even worse those who insult or commit adultery with their spouses, but they aren't doing it at the Academy Awards or on camera anywhere else, and that is the only difference between them and Will Smith. The last time that I checked, shooting or beating people to death or otherwise killing them or castrating them (Lorena Bobbitt) were far worse things than just slapping them!!! Ideally, they should all restrain themselves and find better answers to those insults or violations than what they are doing, but until they all do, it is just singling Will Smith out for condemnation for doing what all of these other people are doing even worse than him, and he should just be condemned for doing that at the Academy Awards in front of millions of people watching on TV. If he had to do anything about that insult at all, he should have waited until he caught Chris Rock alone somewhere in private and then let him have it, much worse than a slap by punching him out, or just have forgiven him. There is another side to this, too, in that Will Smith was laughing at the joke until Jada gave him the stink eye, and then he thought to himself "Oh, yeah, I'm supposed to be offended by this!" and proceeded to slap Chris. This isn't being on Will Smith's side or condoning violence, but merely not condemning him for the same thing that other people are doing, too, and not having a double standard. What about all these cases of movie stars and celebrities attacking the paparazzi for intruding on their privacy and taking unwanted photos, which non-famous people would probably object to, too, and attack photographers over, but without any notice taken of it or a big scandal or deal being made out of it?!! All people everywhere, not just movie stars and other celebrities, should be more non-violent and peaceful, but they aren't and probably won't ever be. That is reality and facing facts!!

  1. Ronald Joseph Dent's Avatar Ronald Joseph Dent

    Primitive behavior on stage.

  1. Joel Clyde Brothers's Avatar Joel Clyde Brothers

    I wouldn't worry too much about it. I am convinced it was just a publicity stunt (choreographed) either to boost the Oscars ratings, or to draw attention to Alopecia, which can be a devastating disease from an emotional standpoint. I believe it was just and act, and here is why:

    A man does not 'slap' another man, as a rule. He would've thrown a fist, right at Rock's nose, or other available target.

    Rock made no attempt to protect himself, even though he had plenty of warning SMith was approaching in anger. This is instinctive, as would a retaliatory return punch. No man is going to stand there in public and let another man, even his best friend, do that to him without some retribution. Rock also had no mark on his face, or was rocked back by the 'slap' which was obviously pulled, called a 'nap' in bygone days, or a 'fake slap' for effect".

    Smith was never charged with assault. I doesn't matter if Rock wanted to press charges or not. Charges are pressed by the DA. If this was real, SMith would currently be chgarged and awaiting trial. Although I doubt any jury would convoct him. WHat Rock did, even fake, was dispecable. SInce not charges have been filed, it was obviously cleared beforehand with the Authorities.

    No civil lawsuit has been filed, which would've been done by the Oscars, and the TV networks, even if Rock didn't want to join in. SInce this hasn't happened, it ws obviously a Jerry Springer-like skit.

    If this were real, why has Rock not faced any backlash for such a tasteless and disgusting comment? Why is the animosoty all directed at Smith, who is the one who was provoked? I think it is because both stars have enough sympathy from fans to weather the incident, and Alopecia, as well as the Oscars just got millions of dollars worth of free publicity and awareness.

    I am pretty sure this was just a staged event. It will pass quickly.

  1. Michael Barton's Avatar Michael Barton

    The venue was wrong. If this wasn't on TV, then it would be fine for him to get his aggression out. Which is more humane; a simple slap to let your anger vent, or years and years of court room injustice? The latter can cause major health issues, while the earlier solution solves the problem, and lets the healing process happen right away. God would be for the slap heard around the world, as opposed to a court process or verbal exchanges that take place over months or years.

    Again, the venue was wrong. It shouldn't have happened on TV, and Will should keep his award. Because the award is for more than him; it's for King Richard, it's for the writers and everyone else that worked on that film. It shouldn't be taken away because society has an old-fashioned way of thinking about solving problems.

    Sometimes the fist (or slap) is okay.

  1. Karen Bennett's Avatar Karen Bennett

    Through the years there has been many comedians who poke fun and insult others it’s in their way comedy so to speak. Yes it was not a nice comment about Jada but Chris Rock does this for a living. Like Don Rickles And all the other comedians with their roasts they hosted. Poking fun at one another. So all the late night hosts also poke fun at others are they to be reprimanded? Will was wrong and Chris should not have made a joke about Jada Smith. Yes to wrongs don’t make a right but hurtful comments are not nice. Think before you speak. Our tongues are terrible weapons at times and are need to control them.

  1. Shellenate' Adams's Avatar Shellenate' Adams

    No one should be bullied in any kind of way. Chris Rock was wrong for what he had said, and of course Will Smith was wrong for hitting Chris Rock. They both need to work it out as two grown men and respect one another and learn their is a time and place for things to be said and that was not the time or place. I like both of them but they we’re both wrong.

  1. Rev. Jack Harte, DD, MscD's Avatar Rev. Jack Harte, DD, MscD

    Will Smith has, for quite some time, been seen as a movie star like in the days of old - a family man, a man of integrity to toward his craft and his family and life, upbeat and sober, dealing with the problems of life and family and teenagers and the troubles that that brings, deftly. He has been a man to emulate, whether as an actor, or just as a man. This, however, changes that image. While we have seen Mr. Smith act as a a strong male role model to people of any demographic, we have seen violence in our our streets, an increase in gun violence, nary a rap concert can occur whereby someone doesn't get shot, usually for chicken-waste reason, some real or perceived slight or threat. Mr. Smith's behavior, on national television, in front of millions, at an awards show, is inexcusable. He reduces the event to that of any rap concert where the fashion is to be violent against anyone who looks at you cross-eyed. Disgusting. Shameful. If Tom Hanks, who I don't like, by the way, but if Tom Hanks did that very same thing, he would be in prison. The story would be all over the news. There would be violence in the streets. Funny, Huh. Why has the media not done more in speaking out on this topic? Why is this being shushed away as quickly as possible. We will hear no more about this in two weeks. Watch. Who is being helped in this? Does this make for a more peaceful inner city, to condone through silence, violence for minor issues?? Or does it tell young people that tis sort of bull-byproduct is okay. Heck, If Will Smith can slap Chris Rock on national television, everyione be gettin' whacked, now. Ain't no consequences. I am disgusted.

  1. JT of the plains's Avatar JT of the plains

    Will Smith's assault was a very sexist act. The so-called "defending his wife" is garbage, as a woman can defend herself. Women are not property, and Will Smith was acting in a manner which just demeaned his wife, not uplifted her. I believe he should be charged with assault. Now, had his wife gotten up and slapped Chris Rock, that would be different and might fall under "fighting words" category, but as it was there is no excuse for Will Smith's behavior.

  1. Carol A Hicks's Avatar Carol A Hicks

    Being in Hollywood and people do strange things foe movies (many shaved heads for movies) Chris Rock may not have known. That being said a lot of comedians jokes are in poor taste and and rude and crude. Rock never should have said anything about anyone. Will Smith knew where he was, knew the impact his actions would make and it worked. He is in everyone's head and coming out of everyone's mouth. He is a roll model for kids. What did his actions tell our already hurting society and our kids. Violence is everywhere and now we have it acted out on stage in front of the world. Shame on you Will Smith. You deserve whatever punishment they give. Even NFL and all sports will remove the person fighting and give them a hefty fine. People applauded his actions. What does that say about where we are as Americans. God save us from egotistical people who think they can do whatever they want. Shame on both of them.

  1. Jeffrey Stoecker's Avatar Jeffrey Stoecker

    It seems to me that everybody COULD have done something different, but chose not to. Rock could have not gone there with the joke. Smith could have stopped himself somewhere before reaching that stage. Jada could have worn a wig if she's that sensitive to the scrutiny re: her condition (I bet she has some really nice ones). The audience could have BOOed the whole event down. None of that happened -- because, generally, we like drama more than impeccability. Nothing new.

    What bothers me is what it shows to young people. Is the "Will Smith Defense" going to fly when some twenty-something is standing in court on assault charges? I don't think so.

    The only good that could come out of it, in my opinion, is to tamp-down the idea of gun-carrying. Will Smith is smart, talented, rich -- poised to receive a high award, yet in that moment he probably would have reached for that piece if he were carrying one. Then it'd be a totally different story... Or would it? Maybe different in degrees of magnitude (?). Hmmm. (Scratching head).

    Hey Will -- I just found a name for your new charitable foundation: "Reach for your peace instead of your piece." [Copyright] Ah, English, I do love ya. (-:

  1. Adrian Thomas Lowndes's Avatar Adrian Thomas Lowndes

    There is no excuse for violence. Mean words do not give you an excuse for battery regardless of how your soft skin may not like it. I think Will feels his manhood is questioned due to his relationship with his wife and feels really insecure. This act was his way of trying to compensate but had it been anyone else done this without his special privilege, they would have gone to jail.

  1. John P Maher's Avatar John P Maher

    YOU HAVE NO RIGHT or EXCUSE to HIT ANY PERSON or ANIMAL EXCEPT in SELF DEFENSE ! AND THAT GOES ESPECIALLY FOR the POLICE !

  1. Sandra Johnson's Avatar Sandra Johnson

    I WAS SO DISAPPOINTED IN "WILLS SMITH" ACTIONS AND LANGUAGE LAST NIGHT AT THE OCSARS....... DISRESPECTING THE MANHOOD OF "CHRIS ROCK"..OVER A SIMPLE HUMOROUS JOKE..THEY SHOULD REVOKE HIS AWARD..VIOLENCE AND FOUL LANGUAGE SHOULD NEVER BE EXCUSED OR ACCEPTED BY OUR PEERS AT AN EVENT LIKE THIS, ESPECIALLY IN THESE VIOLENCE TIMES IT SETS A BAD TONE..AND HIS CROCODILE TEARS MEANT NOTHING TO ME BECAUSE HE SHOULD HAVE ADDED MR. ROCK IN THAT APOLOGY. ..I COMMEND CHRIS ROCK FOR TURNING THE OTHER CHEEK .

  1. Thomas A. Follis's Avatar Thomas A. Follis

    I learned a long time ago, there is no payoff when down-talking another man’s family. It’s just not done. Both men were wrong and, it’s by far the first time for either. If anyone thinks Will Smiths actions were justified, why did he apologize to anyone?

  1. Lisa Rose Morton's Avatar Lisa Rose Morton

    I can't believe such a big thing is being made about a slap across the face. Take note there are people dying in the Ukraine, Thousands of young girls are being sold for sex slaves, Gay lesbians and blacks are being treated atrociously. Can you think of many more people suffering? Much worse than the slap across the face. We need to get our priorities in line...

    1. Jeffrey Stoecker's Avatar Jeffrey Stoecker

      There's a lot of good sense in this post. You're SO right that this doesn't compare to those atrocious other things going on. I'd offer this counterpoint, though -- that saying "NO" to this kind of thing is the "and chew gum at the same time" part of the old adage. IMHO, we have to deal with both the little and big.

  1. Jason Duane Angelo's Avatar Jason Duane Angelo

    Sometimes with these televised events I feel as though we should look for the more broader picture. If you think about who sponsored the Oscars, think about the new treatment the that same company has out for Alopecia, and then realize Jada has stubble not patches where there is no "hair". We begin to realize that these people are paid actors, and there is always more to what you're being allowed to see. You may have just witnessed a very expensive commercial.

  1. Gerald David Norman's Avatar Gerald David Norman

    Chris showed mercy and grace, something that is lacking in this world.

  1. Father Frederick's Avatar Father Frederick

    I'm lucky enough to work for the television media. The ratings were already down for the show, and once the slap took place there was more viewer tune-out. Today, it's damage control as people align on either side to justify or condemn each boorish comedian's actions. However, in our conservative region, these two buffoons have basically turned about 28% of the audience against the buffoons, the show, and the network. The question asked, was it justified, and people here seem to be split. However the choices we make are the legacy which we leave and how we're judged in life.

    As such, neither buffoon took the high road, and neither are the victor. Perhaps the better way would have been for the two to work it out after the show. But since they decided to make it public, we now see them for what they are; two boorish buffoons.

    I wish them both luck in the future. But after being in the business for 37 years, and broadcasting for 50, I know the public is not so willing to forgive and forget. Like so many entertainers before them, this was a hit on their career and reputations. First rule of broadcasting ... act with grace on air. Take your differences outside.

  1. David Wright Tillman's Avatar David Wright Tillman

    I'm surprised how many people are taking Will Smith's side in this matter. First of all, it was a televised entertainment event. Chris Rock is a professional comedian. It's common practice for comedians to "roast" celebrities at such events. Dean Martin's career through most of the 1970s was holding such events, for example. And Jada had said just a few weeks prior on her TV show that she didn't care who didn't like her bald head. Perhaps Chris Rock was taking her literally. At any rate, it was a harmless joke. There was no excuse at all for violence. It was literally assault and battery over words...a joke. No, Will Smith was not "defending his wife". He was acting out of arrogance and pride. What I saw was a man deeply in need of psychological help! I hope that Will Smith gets it.

  1. Jean Bakula's Avatar Jean Bakula

    This couple is such a "vessel of love" that they openly sleep with other people. Comedians have made much worse jokes at the Oscars. Do comedians need bouncers and where were they at the awards show? Demi Moore looked great in GI Jane, so I don't think the joke was so mean. Also, Will Smith was shown laughing at the joke until Jada gave a huge, exaggerated eye roll. Chris should have gotten the standing ovation for letting the show go on, and the Smiths should have been escorted out.

  1. Khale M Lucin's Avatar Khale M Lucin

    , let no man separate (Matthew 19:6). We must guard our marriage, so that the outside world cannot separate it. when mister Chris rock decide to pose his humor towards the heart of another an it was met by the actions of emotion he suffered the moment that wrath could not be held.mr.snith should be held on high as a shining example of what happens when you mix human strength with angel heart.

  1. Rev. Sheridan's Avatar Rev. Sheridan

    I understand the defending the family theory, but had her medical condition have been public knowledge, the “joke” would not have been said. In todays society people act upon the “visual,” first would out knowing the complete story. Thus, it’s only natural to believe what your eyes are interpreting, until such a point where your brain is given other information, extensive detail on what’s being seen. Had Chris know the full story, I’m sure that joke may not have been said. My point is full context has to be given. Besides, in todays society, some women have their head to either remove damaged hair, they just might want a changer, or just because it’s fashionable to do so.

  1. David M Hines's Avatar David M Hines

    Like so many things these days, I took this as an opportunity to learn more about my fellow citizens, their values, and their vision of morality. It's really amazing how much people will teach you about themselves if you simply pay attention to what they say and do.

  1. Yodi Vaden's Avatar Yodi Vaden

    Let me begin by saying I like both Chris Rock and Will Smith. He has said some not flattering things about Will in the past, once about the movie "Wild Wild West". There were a lot of "miss steps" in this situation. In 2016 Chris made the joke about Jada boycotting the awards and an item of clothing belonging to Rihanna's, and him. It was not humorous. With all the people left in the WORLD, and medical condition jokes usually are mean, and he was presenting an award about documentaries, couldn't he find something else to say? I say I wish they all handled this differently. This over shadowed the entire WAR.

  1. Matthew Small's Avatar Matthew Small

    CMON PPL It's not like Jada had Cancer! It's not a life threatening disease I honestly believe Chris was yrying to include her in the festivities and trying not to treat someone differently because of an ailment. Not to mention Smitg was whole heartedly laughing at the meaningless joke! There was absolutely no need for violence none at all!

  1. Robert Clay Sherrod's Avatar Robert Clay Sherrod

    Will Smith did the second worst thing to a man; that could be done to insult him. He slapped him in the face. Did he want a duel. Take ten paces and shot . Wil Smith was laughing just as hard as everyone else until he looked over at his Jada and she rolled her eyes. Once she rolled her eyes it was on. Will sometimes things are not to be done. You were wrong for what you did. Bullies start in school. If that was Sinbad, Eddie Murphy, or any of the big guys would you have done the same, NOT !!!!!!!!!
    1. Spit in a mans face. 2. Slap a man in his face 3Punch a man in his face. Wrong is wrong

  1. Jeffery Wayne Weatherholtz's Avatar Jeffery Wayne Weatherholtz

    Violence is never an answer, Will and Jada have been the subject of jokes in many of these shows. So why now? No one really believes it was about her hair. There is something else going on with that relationship...my biggest question...did he slap any of the men she has slept with? That's the bigger offense, not the joke.

  1. Erica Danielle Love Botmow's Avatar Erica Danielle Love Botmow

    I thank that they should get down on their keens and ask god to forgive theme. Rock shouldn't said what he said and Smith shouldn't have slapped Rock. He and Jada should had left and if the academy still wanted Smith to have the Oscar. They would send it to him.

    I hope and pray that they will take time and think about their actions. And that they will be good friends and respect one another.

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      Did you have a particular god in mind to forgive them? Mankind seems to have created so many.

      🦁❤️

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