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‘Assault is never the answer’: Local and international celebs weigh in on Will Smith-Chris Rock incident at the 2022 Oscars

By Hannah Mallorca Published Mar 28, 2022 3:11 pm

The 2022 Oscars just became the talk of the town after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage when the comedian joked about the hair loss of his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Moments after the commotion, Smith apologized to the Academy during his acceptance speech for his Best Actor win, while Rock reportedly declined to file a police report.

Rock's stunned response to Smith onstage, and Smith cursing at Rock after he sat down was muted on American broadcast, but was left uncensored in other countries like Australia and Japan. 

The Academy immediately addressed the incident on social media, saying it doesn’t “condone violence of any form.”

On the other hand, actress and activist Sophia Bush called out Smith and Rock on social media, stating that “assault is never the answer” and “both need a breather.”

“For people asking if [Jada’s] alopecia is public knowledge? Yes. She 1st spoke about it in 2018… Hitting him was not okay. AND his ‘joke’ was cruel & personal. All of it, awful,” Bush added.

TV host and comedian Conan O’Brien asked if anyone has a “late-night show I can borrow.”

Comedian Kathy Griffin, meanwhile, called out Smith on social media, adding that it’s “a very bad practice” to “physically assault a comedian.”

Basketball star Rudy Gay gave a “shout-out” to Rock for “not rubbing his face after the smack.”

English TV personality Piers Morgan said Smith and Rock’s encounter was the “ugliest moment in Oscar’s history.”

Filipina content creator Inka Magnaye said while Smith’s intent to protect his wife was “quite noble,” he should have “called Rock out from his seat” instead.

Broadcast journalist Karen Davila said Smith and Rock’s encounter would’ve been a “perfect opportunity” to “educate a global audience.”

TV host Daphne Oseña Paez said violence is not the answer if Smith wants to be a “vessel of love,” referring to Smith's subsequent remarks upon accepting his first Oscar award.

Business journalist Lala Rimando couldn’t hide her disgust with Smith and Rock, saying they both just “displayed your machismo and lack of self-control.”

Netizens also pointed out the visibly perplexed reactions of actresses Lupita Nyong’o and Nicole Kidman during the altercation. (Warning: some posts contain explicit language.)