Will Smith is known across the globe for finding himself wedged between a rock and a hard place at the March 2022 Oscars (also known as the Academy Awards) when he slapped Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. After the slap, replays of Chris Rock’s expression and endless memes flooded the web as the internet quickly and shamelessly dubbed the affair the "Will Smith slap." [i]
Relive the unforgettable moment in the video clip below.
Moving forward from the Will Smith, Chris Rock Oscars slap
Although time is said to heal all wounds, it certainly appears not to have mended the rift between Chris Rock and Will Smith. Smith went so far as to post a YouTube video during which he apologized for striking Chris Rock during the ceremony's live broadcast. He expressed that Chris Rock has not yet been “ready to talk.” Watch the full video from Will Smith below. [ii]
Following the incident, Smith endured short-lived public outcry and several unbacked attempts to “cancel” the multifaceted actor. One petition still active on Change.org has yet to reach 100 signatures. A reiteration of his ability to “bounce-back,” the four-time Grammy-award winner recently announced that he would soon return as one of his former characters in a newly-announced Disney sequel. [iii] [iv]
The new Will Smith movie announced is a Disney sequel
Now, as controversy from the “Will Smith slap” has died down, Smith reports that he will be returning to the role of Genie in the upcoming Aladdin 2. Smith first debuted as the oversized, unmistakably blue supernatural being in 2019. Aladdin was a live-action adaptation of the 1992s animated Aladdin. Smith said in September 2022 that “Aladdin passed Independence Day as the highest-grossing film of [his] entire career.” [v]
As for the sequel, according to Mena Massoud, who starred as the film’s hero, Aladdin, the film is “not going to be based off [sic] the animated version. This is going to be a new original story.” The first film banked over a billion dollars worldwide. [v]
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[i] Nadia Khomami, Video of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at Oscars tops YouTube chart (Dec. 1, 2022)
[ii] Mandalit Del Barco, Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock, this time in video (Jul. 29, 2022)
[iii] Richard Lugo, Cancel Will Smith - NO MORE WILL SMITH - Not Stand for Violence (Mar. 2022)
[iv] Jeremy Dick, Will Smith Reportedly Set for Return as the Genie in Aladdin 2 (Jan. 28, 2023)
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