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Kareem Abudul-Jabbar penned a response to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony.
Even for those who did not watch the 2022 Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday, March 27, they were made aware on the news or on their social media feeds of one particular moment. During the ceremony, Will Smith walked onto the stage and slapped Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, before yelling twice “keep my wife’s name out of your f—–g mouth.”
Los Angeles Lakers legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar penned a lengthy response on Substack, titled “Will Smith Did a Bad, Bad Thing,” condemning Smith’s slap.
“When Will Smith stormed onto the Oscar stage to strike Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife’s short hair, he did a lot more damage than just to Rock’s face, writes Abdul-Jabbar. “With a single petulant blow, he advocated violence, diminished women, insulted the entertainment industry, and perpetuated stereotypes about the Black community.”
You can read Abdul-Jabbar’s full blog at the link above.
Kareem Abdul-Jabbar writes lengthy response to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at Oscars
The incident occurred after Rock made a joke about Pinkett Smith’s hair, saying “can’t wait for G.I. Jane 2.” For context, Pinkett Smith revealed that she shaved her head due to suffering from alopecia, which results in hair loss. Smith was first seen laughing at the joke. But then, he stepped onto the stage to strike Rock in the face.
Later on in the night, Smith won the Best Actor in a Leading Role award for his role as Richard Williams, father to tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams, in the film King Richard.
Shortly after the incident, The Academy released an official statement saying they will investigate the incident.
“”The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show,” the statement read, h/t USA Today. We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law.”
On Monday, Smith posted a lengthy statement on his Instagram account, calling his behavior “unacceptable and inexcusable,” and apologized to Rock.
Rock is not pressing charges for the incident.