Opinion: Was it right for Will Smith to slap Chris Rock at the Oscars?


    “Jada I love you, G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see you”

    That was all Chris Rock said at the Oscars to earn him a slap from an embittered Will Smith. After the assault came the words “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”

    With the media being divided into two over the actions of Will Smith on the award night, it is worthy to note that I fall into the spectrum of people who believe that the actor did the comedian dirty.

    Like Etomchi Chimdi said, “The joke wasn’t directly about his wife’s health condition, it was about her bald hair, which she rocks beautifully like a Queen.”

    His statement was more of a compliment from the perspective of certain people on Facebook. Some persons like a certain Chrixto Abugu, likened the case to that of Bianca slapping the wife of the ex-governor of Anambra state. He wanted to state that Nigerians were happy with the event and that if anyone was to insult his relatives, he would act in a similar manner.

     However, a certain Chigozie Gentle was right on time to correct him, by letting him know that Bianca’s case was that of defense since the ex-governor’s wife was already touching her while talking to her.


    I do not believe Chris Rock intended to insult Jada Pinkett Smith. Even if he did so on a global stage, the “Men in Black” actor could have given a verbal reaction to the scene, if he still wanted the whole world to know how displeased he was. It was wrong of him to have walked up the podium to assault the comedian.

    If Chris decides to sue him, Smith will lose a lot to damages for battering.

    What if he had raised his hands on a man who has no shame and doesn’t care if the world was ending? What if he had tried it with someone whose temperament is nothing to write about? The person would have returned the slap, and if he’s unlucky, would receive a terrible injury for raising his hands on another.

    I remember when Tonto Dikeh was verbally assaulting Churchill by calling him a 2 seconds man. Some persons sided with her, while a few supported Churchill. It was all about the back and forth on insults at different levels. Nobody touched the other. People quarrel every day, yet settle verbally, because they understand the consequences of going beyond mere words and involving themselves in fistful bouts.

    When a player insulted Zinedine Zidane at the World Cup, he retaliated by assaulting the player. He gave him a nod, and FIFA penalized Zidane. Everyone knew that if Marco Metarazzi had not insulted the world’s best player, he would have still clinched the award that year. Zizou was leading in the voting pools until he lost his temper on the pitch. 

    The award was finally given to Italy’s Fabio Cannavaro. It was an avoidable situation, but the French international couldn’t swallow his pride on the pitch. 

    The Oscars have a right to recall Will Smith’s Award if they wish to – nothing is impossible in this case.

    However, Chris Rock has made things easier for the Academy Awards by assuming the maturity of the day. He didn’t fight back. He even joked about the situation, and that’s what has gotten him a place in the hearts of many who are evaluating the situation.

    David C. Victor, a Facebook user, had this to say about Chris Rock’s action: “I’ll give Chris flowers for being professional and adopting self-control after the whole scenario. He literally stopped the issue from escalating, continued the show like nothing happened”

    Violence should only make meaning when it’s in self-defense!

    Written by: Edward Amah

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