At the 2022 Academy Awards on Sunday (March 27), Will Smith tearfully accepted the coveted best actor trophy for his performance as Richard Williams in King Richard — not long after he blew up Twitter by slapping Chris Rock over a joke the comedian made at his wife’s expense. The moment immediately went viral, with musicians and industry people also chiming in on the slap.

“Keep my wife’s name out your f–king mouth!” Smith could be seen shouting at Rock, with the broadcast’s audio cutting out shakily in the United States.

It all began when Rock took the stage to present the award for best documentary — which Questlove won for his film Summer of Soul — and kicked off his appearance by cracking a few jokes about the superstar audience. The moment soured, however, when he called out Jada Pinkett Smith and said, “Jada, I love you, G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it!”

It was a quip at Pinkett’s shaved head, which might seem harmless until you remember that the actress has been open about her struggles with alopecia, an autoimmune condition that causes hair loss. The incident, now branded “The Slap” on social media — which first had people confused to whether it was an act — has catalyzed much debate over who was in the wrong.

Lil Nas X was one of those who wasn’t sure what he was seeing. “omg was that real,” he asked on Twitter.

Shock jock Howard Stern also discussed the incident at length on his eponymous SiriusXM show, and repeatedly said he thought Smith was “mentally unbalanced.” “What you saw on TV was a guy with real issues,” Stern said on Monday (March 28), before wondering about the Academy’s lack of action. “You don’t provide security? You don’t have someone come up there? Chris Rock was just trying to make people laugh at the f–king ceremony, which was so long and boring.”

The Academy itself also chimed in after the ceremony. “The Academy does not condone violence of any form,” read a message posted to the award show’s official Twitter account. “Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.”

Celebrity musicians are just like the rest of the world — not immune to the desire to join in on the conversation. Here’s what some of them had to say about “The Slap”:

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Categories: Music News