There was some unpleasant history between Will Smith, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith and the Oscars even before Sunday night's shocking slap. Smith stormed the stage and slapped Rock in the face at the 94th Academy Awards when Rock made a joke about his wife's hairstyle. However, fans soon dug up Rock's routine from 2016 where he also poked fun at Pinkett Smith, wondering if this was a factor in Smith's outburst.
Rock was the host of the Oscars in 2016 back when the award show still had a single host. That year, many prominent Black performers boycotted the award show because of the "Oscars So White" controversy, which accused the Academy of racism for failing to nominate lauded Black Americans. In an apparent attempt to ease the tension, Rock cracked jokes about several of these absent A-listers, including Pinkett Smith. He joked that she wasn't exactly one of the most sought-after guests at the award show anyway.
"What happened this year? People went nuts. Spike [Lee] got mad. Jada went mad. Will went mad. Everyone went mad!" Rock said at the time. "Jada said she's not coming. I was like, 'Isn't she on a TV show?' Jada's gonna boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties. I wasn't invited!"
"Her man Will was not nominated for Concussion. I get it. You get mad," Rock continued. "It's not fair that Will was this good and didn't get nominated. You're right. It's also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West!"
Pinkett Smith seemed to avoid answering questions about the controversy at the time, but eventually, she did comment on it in an interview with X17. She said: "Hey look, it comes with the territory but we gotta keep it moving. We gotta keep it moving. We gotta keep it moving. There's a lot of stuff we gotta handle, a lot of stuff in our world right now. We gotta keep it moving."
While that seemed to be the end of that, some fans are now speculating that Smith and Pinkett Smith have been angry at Rock ever since. However, others on social media are arguing that Pinkett Smith's comment shows that she was more concerned with the racism itself than with Rock cracking jokes around it. Meanwhile, there are plenty of other layers to this controversy that seem more relevant.
Of course, fans suspect that Pinkett Smith was hurt and offended by Sunday night's G.I. Jane joke, which was a reference to her bald hairstyle. The actress suffers from alopecia which she has spoken about on her Facebook Watch talk show, admitting that she is sensitive about it. Rock's defenders argue that the comedian probably doesn't watch that show and perhaps didn't know about Pinkett Smith's condition.
Moreover, since Smith was the one to escalate the situation, many fans suspect that he was on edge about the recent revelations of infidelity in his marriage. The Smith family has been an open book for the last few years, for better or worse. We may never know what really set Smith off.0comments