Will Smith’s decision to slap comedian Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars was one that will live in infamy. Not only did the moment quickly go viral, but it also immediately generated millions of online conversations regarding whether the altercation was real or fake.
In the aftermath, a number of dignitaries rushed off to the internet to offer their take on the matter.
One such person?
Tennis legend, Serena Williams.
In a quick video posted to social media, Williams offered this response to what transpired:
Serena Williams weighs in on her Insta story:#Oscars
— Lukas Weese (@Weesesports) March 28, 2022
And for anyone who missed it, here is the original uncensored clip of Smith smacking the taste out of Rock’s mouth:
VIA JAPANESE TELEVISION: The uncensored exchange between Will Smith and Chris Rock pic.twitter.com/j0Z184ZyXa
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 28, 2022
The reactions to it were about what you’d expect:
— Monica Lazo (@MoniLazo09) March 28, 2022
— Raffaele Pizzari (@pixari) March 28, 2022
Didn’t Chris Rock start in stand up comedy? I thought he handled this heckling not to mention assault rather well especially considering a billion people watch the #Oscars C’mon Will Smith, show some class. You know Chris’ comedy is edgy. https://t.co/gfosgSImoz
— (@NotEnoughHough) March 28, 2022
— Earl Skakel (@EarlSkakel) March 28, 2022
Why are people saying online this wasn’t real? You can see the level of aggression in #WillSmith face. @chrisrock in disbelief on air it happened. Will smith has real issues. #Oscars2022 #Oscar #OscarsFanFavorite https://t.co/9eR8HcWmPc
— Stewart King (@MyGift1994) March 28, 2022
While the legitimateness of this incident will understandably be questioned for days to come, at the moment at least, it certainly feels real:
During the commercial break, Will Smith is pulled aside and comforted by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry, who motion for him to brush it off. Will appears to wipe tears from his eyes as he sits back down with Jada, with Denzel comforting Jada and Will’s rep by his side. pic.twitter.com/uDGVnWrSS2
— Scott Feinberg (@ScottFeinberg) March 28, 2022
Shortly after the altercation with Rock occurred, Smith won Best Actor at the Oscars for his portrayal as Williams’ father in King Richard. He used the opportunity to send a powerful message:
“Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family…”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 28, 2022
“Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” said Smith.
“In this time in my life, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world.”
The photos speak for themselves. https://t.co/1CASGWbqpZ
— Game 7 (@game7__) March 27, 2022
It will be interesting to see where this situation goes from here. In a sports week that featured an NBA star getting embroiled in a trans model controversy and LeBron James’ alleged side chick sue another player – nothing is too crazy to be real.
Will the slap heard around the world turn out to be as real those news tidbits? Time will tell.