Ask a Jag: Will Smith vs. Chris Rock

After the dramatic confrontation between actor Will Smith and comedian Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards, many have begun debating who was in the right. Did Rock’s jab at Jada Smith’s aphasia cross the line? Should it just be treated as a joke? Was Will Smith justified in rushing onto the stage? Should there be any consequences, or should the incident just be forgotten?

What do you think about the Will Smith and Chris Rock slap incident at the Oscars?

“Will Smith is a… simp since he was laughing before, and then he looked at Jada, and then he slapped Rock. If I was Will, and I was at the Oscars, I would not have done it.” -Daryion Alonzo, Senior

“I feel like it was 50/50, he had the right to be upset for his wife, but at the same time, it was blown out of proportion just because it was national TV, but at the same time I know Chris had to do it cause it was part of the program. It should have been done, but it shouldn’t have.” –Jesaiah Valencia Duenas, Senior

“Chris Rock’s joke, I personally think, was made in pretty poor taste. I mean, he probably didn’t know what he was doing. It made sense for him to do that, but I think Will Smith could have handled it a little less emotionally.” –KB Nunez, junior

“I appreciate Will Smiths loyalty towards his wife and that he was willing to defend her but I don’t think he would have gone to the point to actually slap somebody and actually cause them physical harm because that could get you into a lot of trouble.” –Isabel Krengel, senior

“Will Smith shouldn’t have assaulted Chris Rock, he should’ve calmly spoken up in the moment or talked to him about it afterwards. He was blinded by passion. If a random person walked on stage and slapped whoever was there, they’d be dragged off stage by security. But Will Smith didn’t rouse any security to come, He should’ve been escorted out.” –Joseph Coursey, junior

“It definitely was not fully justified. I think both of them are in the wrong. I would support Will Smith but that is personal bias. He could have started with no violence I think. The comment was unnecessary, but the punch was more unnecessary.  –Cheyanne Livingstone, sophomore

Should there be any consequences? Do you think there will be any lasting effects?

“They were talking about taking away his Oscar, but if they do that, they have to take away the Oscars from everyone else who has done some really shady [stuff] during the Oscars. To be honest, that was a well deserved thing. If they wanted to give him a punishment: not invite him again.” –KB Nunez, junior

“Like Chris Rock, he did take it too far and he might not have even known he was taking it too far. But I also think they could have taken both of them aside and talked to them about it. Whenever kids in 20 years watch a Will Smith movie, they’ll look him up and see a video of him slapping Chris Rock.” –Elizabeth Farias, sophomore.

How does it feel to be named Will Smith right now?

“Chris Rock was talking bad about Jada. It’s what you gotta do. Words have consequences and it made the Oscars a lot more interesting. It was probably the best thing that could have happened. This is the only time I’ve ever cared about it.” –Will Conner Smith, junior

“It feels pretty good. Big fan of his work. I think he was right. Chris Rock gives me weird vibes; I like it when someone slaps him. The comment was inappropriate. It was out of pocket, and I’m glad he slapped him.”  –Will Edward Smith, junior

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