The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent actress Tiffany Haddish praised Will Smith’s slap against fellow actor Chris Rock.
Smith slapped Chris Rock after Rock made a joke regarding Jada Pinket Smith’s physical appearance, specifically her shaved head. Pinket Smith is Will Smith’s wife.
Rock joked, “Jada, I love you, G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it.” He then added, “That was a nice one,” seemingly implying that the joke was tame and he could have easily been more insulting.
Following this joke, Smith walked up on stage and slapped Rock on the face. After slapping him he turned around and walked to his seat.
After being slapped, Rock replied, “Oh wow. Wow. Will Smith just smacked the s*** out of me.”
Upon returning to his seat, Smith yelled at Rock, “Leave my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth!
Rock responded, “Wow, dude. It was a G.I. Jane joke.” Smith then responded, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.”
“I’m going to, okay?”, responds Rock. “That was the greatest night in the history of television,” he added before returning to the programming of the night.
VIA JAPANESE TELEVISION: The uncensored exchange between Will Smith and Chris Rock pic.twitter.com/j0Z184ZyXa
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 28, 2022
Speaking to People at the Governors Ball following the Oscars, Haddish said, “When I saw a black man stand up for his wife. That meant so much to me.”
She continued, “As a woman, who has been unprotected, for someone to say, ‘Keep my wife’s name out your mouth, leave my wife alone,’ that’s what your husband is supposed to do, right? Protect you.”
“And that meant the world to me. And maybe the world might not like how it went down, but for me, it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen because it made me believe that there are still men out there that love and care about their women, their wives,” she stated.
Haddish didn’t stop there. She went on, “Would you do that for your wife? Would you say, ‘Keep my wife’s name out your mother f—ing…’ Like, yes! Yes!”
People then notes that Haddish commented on the fact that Chris Rock is Will and Jada’s friend before asking, “Why would you do that? He didn’t even run the joke by her, but she was hurt though.”
The actress then opined, “If she wouldn’t have been hurt, [Will] probably wouldn’t have said nothing. But you could see he was clearly… And they exploited it. They exploited her, so ‘I have to do something’… He protected his wife.”
Haddish would later add, “Will is fine.”
Haddish would offer similar remarks to Entertainment Tonight.
She was asked, “Would you define tonight as uncomfortable?”
She proceeded to respond, “No, I would define tonight as a success. It was a great night tonight.”
“First of all, I seen a man stand up for his wife, which we don’t see that much anymore. That made me have hope,” she added.
When asked to elaborate on her opinion specifically as a comedian, Haddish questioned, “I want to know how you felt about it? Would you want your husband to do that for you if you was clearly hurt? I mean they put her face up on the screen. He looked over at his wife, she was hurt. What would you want?”
After the Entertainment Tonight reporter gives a brief opinion, Haddish said, “Well, I just know she better take care of business when they get home because I know I would if my man did that for me.”
Haddish would go on to reveal that she spoke with the Smiths saying, “Oh, they know how I feel. Oh, they know how — that’s my friends. They know.”
As for her opinion on Smith’s acceptance speech for Best Actor, which you can see below, Haddish said, “I felt very proud. I felt gratified and I just hope that more men are like that, care about their families. It’s not just about you, right? It’s not just about you, sir. What about your family? The people you create, the people that help you be who you are. That’s important. That’s what I think America forgot about.”
Haddish then questioned those criticizing Smith online asking, “What are you doing for your family? Who you protect?
As noted above, Smith won the Oscar for Best Actor for his role as Richard Williams in King Richard. During his acceptance speech he apologized for slapping Chris Rock albeit he also justified it.
He began his acceptance speech stating, “Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family. In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world.”
“Making this film, I got to protect Aunjanue Ellis, who is one of the most — the strongest, most delicate people I’ve ever met,” he continued. “I got to protect Saniyya [Sidney] and Demi [Singleton], the two actresses that played Venus and Serena.”
“I’m being called on in my life to love people, and to protect people, and to be a river to my people,” Smith stated. “Now, I know to do what we do, you got to be able to take abuse. You got to be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you got to be able to have people disrespecting you. And you got to smile and pretend like that’s okay.”
“But Richard Williams, and what I loved — thank you, D. Denzel said to me a few minutes ago, ‘At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you,” Smith said.
Smith continued his speech, “It’s like I want to be a vessel for love. I want to say thank you to Venus and Serena. I just spit, I hope they didn’t see that on TV. I want to say thank you to Venus and Serena and the entire Williams for entrusting me with your story. That’s what I want to do. I want to be an ambassador of that kind of love, and care, and concern.”
Smith then apologized, “I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all of my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment and I’m not — I’m not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me. It’s about being able to shine light on all of the people: Tim, and Trevor, and Zack, and Saniyaa, and Demi, and Aunjanue, and the entire cast and crew of King Richard, Venus and Serena, and the entire Williams family.”
“Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said. I look like the crazy father just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things,” he went on.
He concluded by thanking his mother, the Williams family, and the Academy.
What do you make of Haddish’s praise for Will Smith slapping Chris Rock?