Will Smith and Chris Rock: Their Friendship, The Slap, and Their Future
If you have watched the 2022 Oscars, then you likely know about the drama that unfolded with the incident between Will Smith and Chris Rock.
The “Oscars slap” truly shocked everyone. Some even wondered if Will Smith and Chris Rock were real friends. Here’s what we know about the actors’ relationship.
Are Will Smith and Chris Rock friends?
Will and Chris along with their families seem to be close, primarily because the two worked on various projects together.
During the joint interview for Madagascar 3, Chris Rock revealed how his daughters are huge fans of Jada and Will’s daughter, Willow. However, the tension rose when Chris joked about Jada’s appearance at this year’s Oscars.
As for Jada, she opened up about the incident via Red Table Talk, which is a Facebook chat show. She wishes that Will and Chris, whom she considers “two intelligent, capable men, have an opportunity to heal, talk, and reconcile.”
Jada added that “the state of the world today, we need them both.” She ended her message by assuring that she and Will will continue to do what they have been doing “for the last 28 years” to figure out the thing “called life together.”
Have Chris Rock and Will Smith ever worked together?
Will and Chris indeed have crossed paths in films and TV shows. In 1995, Chris Rock and his sister Jasmine made guest appearances in NBC’s sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air with Will Smith. The two remained friends even after Chris’s and his sister’s cameo. They even spent some time with Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. The trio was spotted enjoying their time at the MTV Music Awards Arrivals in 1999 at Lincoln Center in New York City.
For Jada, she appeared on Chris Rock’s television program when she promoted Scream 2 in 1997. Additionally, Chris and Jada also worked together in Madagascar. Chris played Marty, the zebra, while Jada portrayed Gloria, the hippo. Since the starred Madagascar and its sequels, press tours and photos showed Chris and Jada looking friendly, smiling, laughing, and even posing together.
In 1999, Will and Chris appeared in Torrance Rises. It is a Mockumentary that was co-directed and starred by Spike Jonze.
What happened with Will Smith and Chris Rock? The slap heard around the world.
Chris Rock brought up Will’s and Jada’s absence from the Oscars in 2016. They two are among those who boycotted the event as their response to the lack of representation.
Chris went on to say, “Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.” It’s as if it was not enough; he followed up his comment for both Will and Jada, suggesting she was annoyed Will was not nominated for his sports movie Concussion.
Then comes the Oscars in March 2022. While Rock was presenting the Best Original Documentary award, he made a joke about Jada Pinkett’s shaved head. Chris said, “Jada, I can’t wait for G.I Jane 2.”
The joke made Jada roll her eyes while her husband Will was seen laughing before taking up the stage. As he reached the stage, he slapped Chris and left some words before returning to his seat.
To provide a context for Chris’s joke, G.I Jane is an American film in 1997 which starred Demi Moore. Her character is the first woman to train under special operations training, which is similar to that of the U.S Navy SEALs. Moore sported a buzzcut and was given the name G.I. Jane.
Chris’s joke came as offensive to the Smith couple. And understandably so, as Jada was diagnosed with alopecia in 2018. She elaborated on her condition in Red Table Talk. She shared that hair loss was “terrifying when it first started.”
Smith banned from attending the Oscars for 10 years
Because of the incident between Will Smith and Chris Rock, the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences actually banned Will from attending the Oscars for 10 years. The board accepted his resignation from the Academy, adding that they would continue the disciplinary measures against Will. He publicly apologized to Chris on Instagram the day after the Oscars.
We wish these two nothing but the best moving forward, we hope they can mend and heal from the Oscar incident. And we look forward to seeing the projects they have coming up in the future!
Featured Photo Credit: s_bukley