Why Will Smith Will Probably Get Away with Assaulting Chris Rock

The devil came for the actor last night, but then Smith won

Denise Shelton
4 min readMar 28, 2022


Photo by aniestla on Unsplash

The Oscar snooze fest just got interesting again thanks to one actor’s onstage assault of another. At this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, best actor nominee Will Smith responded to a joke comedian Chris Rock made about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, mounting the stage and smacking him, not playfully but in deadly earnest. (The joke referenced Pinkett Smith’s shaving her head after hair loss from a medical condition.)

In a literal display of adding insult to injury, upon returning to his seat, Smith shouted at Rock to keep his wife’s name out of his “fucking mouth.” When Rock attempted to diffuse the situation by saying it was just a joke, Smith screamed at him again with greater intensity.

You could have heard a botox needle drop in the auditorium as the audience waited for the two to admit it was all an act. Of course, it wasn’t, and they didn’t. Awkward!

Instead, they observed Oscar elder statesman Denzel Washington, Bradley Cooper, and Tyler Perry, rushing over to calm Smith. Rock, not typically known for his level-headed restraint, fulfilled his duties by presenting Questlove with the best documentary Oscar for Summer of Soul.

Later in the show, a somewhat cowed Smith regained the stage to scoop up this year’s best actor award for his performance in the film King Richard. In his acceptance speech, a tearful Smith blamed love for his behavior, saying it “will make you do crazy things.

Smith also indicated he was on a mission from God, saying, “I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world.” If that weren’t enough, he went on to crib Anthony Quinn’s famous line from Lawrence of Arabia, saying unironically, “I am a river to my people.” Holy crap, does this guy have an ego or what?

Smith also revealed that after the incident, Washington warned him, “At your highest moment, be careful; that’s when the devil comes for you.” Indeed.

The initial reaction to Smith’s antics by those in attendance was shock and disdain. “He could have killed him,” tweeted director Judd Apatow, “That’s pure out of control rage and…



Denise Shelton