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At the Oscars, Will Smith slaps Chris Rock, wins for "King Richard"—and leaves everyone, including Serena Williams, absolutely stunned
See what the world is talking about this Monday morning.
Published Mar 28, 2022
WATCH: Tennis Channel Live on King Richard
We are all you, Vicky.
In the latest example of sports and entertainment news garnering worldwide attention despite so much else going on, Will Smith's forehand slap of Oscars presenter Chris Rock—after the King Richard lead took umbrage with the comedian's joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith—is the story.
Twitter was ablaze when the stunning event took place, not only for the discussion and memes in its aftermath, but for replays of the shocking sequence:
A night's sleep later, and none of that shock has worn off. On Bill Simmons' podcast for The Ringer, former Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel compared the sequence to when Mike Tyson infamously took a bite of Evander Holyfield's ear. In terms of violence, of course not, but in terms of bizarreness, I think that's a reasonable comp.
The exchange overshadowed the remainder of the awards ceremony—including Smith's Best Actor win. In his speech, Smith implicitly acknowledged the elephant in the room with a perfect description of Richard Williams, the man he so wonderfully played on screen: "Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family."
"I want to thank Venus and Serena and the entire Williams family for entrusting me with your story," he went on to say in an emotional five-minute speech that included an apology to the Academy—but, notably, not to Rock. "Art imitates life—I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams."
It was a moment made for social media. The tennis world responded, including Serena Williams, a King Richard producer along with her sister Venus.
(We are all you, Serena.)