Skip to Content

We know — at this point, you’re feeling like just about every aspect of The Slap and its repercussions has been discussed ad nauseam, and we, as a society, should probably move on to the next contentious issue.

We’re with you.

But given how much time we’ve invested in this thing already, we might as well explore every angle, right?

In that spirit, let’s take a look at a literal new angle of the incident that appears to have been shot on a phone by someone in the audience.

The new footage started to gain attention on Thursday when it was re-posted by comedian Michael Rappaport.

By now, of course, you know the gist of the story, having probably seen uncensored video of the live broadcast roughly 4,000 times.

During Sunday night’s Academy Awards ceremony, Will Smith took the stage and smacked Chris Rock, furious about a joke that Rock made at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Chris Rock Gets Slapped

"Keep my wife’s name out of your f—ing mouth!" Smith shouted when he returned to his seat, garnering hundreds of shocked reactions from the celebrities in the auditorium and millions more from the viewers at home.

It’s been a week of hot takes and heated exchanges as viewers attempted to make sense of what they witnessed that night.

But for all the discussion, there’s been relatively little talk about how Jada thought of the incident.

Jada Pinkett Smith and Husband

Many have noted that Will initially laughed at Rock’s joke, but then had a change of heart upon realizing that his wife was not a fan.

In the new footage, we see that Jada laughed too — but only when her husband’s palm made contact with Rock’s face.

Maybe she thought it was all a joke.

Or maybe she was delighted by Will’s actions.

Whatever the case, this video will likely encourage further commentary from folks who are convinced that the slap was staged — which is unfortunate, because that’s the most smooth-brained take of them all.

We understand that social media has created a world in which everybody is on the lookout for hoaxes at all times.

The Slap

However, in most cases, the simplest explanation is still the correct one, and that’s certainly true here.

Yes, what we saw on our TV screens on Sunday night was shocking, and there were some awkward smirks and chuckles both in the crowd and from the principal players.

But people react strangely to shocking events, and in this way, celebrities are no different from the rest of us.

Will Smith Cries

Will Smith and Chris Rock have both attained full-blown legend status.

They’re at points in their careers where they’re thinking about their legacies and what sort of family reputation they’re leaving to their children.

To think that they would risk all of that for a bizarre stunt — with the goal of what, boosting Oscar ratings? — is frankly absurd.

Yes, Jada seems to have laughed when Chris got smacked, but maybe it was more of a resigned chuckle as she realized that laid ahead:

A week in which we would all be confronted with repeated reminders that as a society, we’re not on the same page about anything anymore.