The Slap Seen Around the World: Villanovans Weigh In


Courtesy of Bryan Snyder / Reuters

Actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards.

Sydney Singh, Staff Writer

Let’s talk about the infamous slap at the 94th Annual Academy Awards. 

For those who do not know, at the Oscars on Sunday, Mar. 22,, Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair, comparing her to the bald film character G.I. Jane.

“Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it, all right?” Rock said.

This was a sensitive issue for Smith, given her alopecia, a condition that prevents hair growth. As a result, her husband Will Smith walked on stage and physically assaulted Rock before screaming expletives at him. The moment has since been highly and hotly debated, with people talking about the scandal on the internet like a wildfire. Who was at fault? Did Rock deserve it? Was it all a publicity stunt? Should Smith give back his Oscar? 

Villanovans weighed in on the controversy. 

“Was the joke maybe too much?” freshman Ava Eberly asked. “Yeah, but the slap was crazy.” 

Many Villanova students felt in the middle on whether the slap was staged or not due to Smith speaking and cursing after slapping Rock. Many also expressed feelings that Rock went too far with a joke about alopecia.

“Will Smith’s emotions might have gotten the best of him, but ultimately, he was defending his wife,” junior Maddie Schieder said.

Some students were fully convinced that the slap was staged due to unorthodoxy. 

“I think it was staged to generate more buzz around the [Oscars],” junior Maggie Cavanaugh said. “Viewership numbers have been steadily declining, but after the slap, all anyone could use for small talk was the incident.” 

Freshman Kayla MacKinnon also weighed in.

“The Oscars’ viewing has been going down and I think they needed something to make people watch,” MacKinnon said.

Since the event occurred, Smith resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and issued a public apology on Instagram. 

The Academy has begun disciplinary proceedings for Smith and will make an official decision on April 18.

Rock is “still processing what happened,” like most of us. 

No matter how Villanovans feel about ‘the slap,’ whether they are vehemently against it, convinced it was a publicity stunt, somewhere in between or do not care at all, the facts remain that it will forever be one of those infamous moments in pop culture that Hollywood is so successful at creating.