A complete guide to all of the celebrity and political reactions to Will Smith's slap

Jimmy Kimmel calls out Will Smith for laughing at Chris Rock's joke ...
Independent TV

Everyone had something to say about the Will Smith Oscar drama – and who can blame them?

At the eventful ceremony, Chris Rock poked fun at Jada Pinkett Smith's shaven hairstyle (the result of her alopecia). The comedian compared her to G.I. Jane , a character who also sports a buzzcut from a 1997 film.

Smith initially found the joke funny before walking up on the stage and striking Rock.

Once seated, he furiously yelled: "Keep my wife's name out your f**king mouth."

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Celebrities and politicians have since come out of the woodworks to offer their take on the altercation, with some siding with the King Richard actor and others condemning his actions.

Jimmy Kimmel

The US talk show host praised Rock's handling of the assault. He "handled this about as well as you could handle being slapped on stage at the Oscars", he said. "He didn't even flinch when Will slapped him. I would've been crying so hard."

Kimmel said the "weirdest part" was that "initially, Will Smith laughed."

"Even Kanye was like, 'you went on stage and did what at an awards show?'"

"But then he must have looked over and noticed that Jada was not amused and was like, 'oh, I better do something.' And boy did he do something."

Kimmel joked that the moment took the event from "#OscarsSoWhat to #OscarsSoWhaaaaat?"

"No one could've predicted the most controversial movie of 2022 would be GI Jane, but it was," Kimmel added. "This was the Hollywood version of your drunk uncles starting a fight, ruining the wedding, and then standing up and giving a long toast to the bride and groom."

Jackie Weaver

The unlikely internet star of a viral parish council meeting slammed the assault and called it out for what it was.

She told Jeremy Vine: "It was an assault and it shouldn't be allowed to be pushed into something much less aggressive. It was a violent physical attack on another man."


Drake responded to the altercation in the most bizarre way, using very few words. We'll leave this here:

Jim Carrey

The iconic actor has responded to the slap , agreeing with Gayle King that Smith should have been escorted out.

"I was sickened by the standing ovation. Hollywood is just spineless en masse and it really felt like this is a really clear indication that we aren't the cool club anymore," Carrey said.

Addressing Rock's refusal to press charges, Carrey said: "I would have announced this morning that I was suing Will for $200m because that video is going to be there forever."

He added: "If you want to yell from the audience and show disapproval or say something on Twitter, you do not have the right to walk up on stage and smack somebody in the face ‘cos they said words."

Nicki Minaj

The rapper voiced her opinion in a series of tweets . She insinuated that someone must have told Rock about Pinkett Smith's condition.

"I love Chris Rock. I don't think he would've made that joke had he known what Jada recently shared- but between him & the whole team @ the #Oscars you mean to tell me not ONE of y'all heard this woman just share this heartbreaking story? #ComeOnSon," she shared.

She then defended Smith's reaction because he saw his wife's "pain."

"Imagine what it must feel like to be losing your hair to the point where you have to shave it bald. You think that's easy to deal with for anyone? You don't think she's cried about that many times?" Minaj penned. "2022 y'all gon have to see these men about those jokes you made about their wives."

Tiffany Haddish

Speaking to People at the Governors Ball, Pinkett Smith's Girls Trip co-star said Smith's actions "meant the world to me."

"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."

She added, "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."

OJ Simpson

Even OJ Simpson weighed in on the Oscars altercation , saying the slap was "wrong."

"It was unfortunate… I think Will was wrong. Look, I understood the feeling. In my life, I've been through a lot of crap, and I was raising two young kids, and every comedian in the country had an OJ routine, and don't think I wouldn't wanna slap a couple of those guys....But it's humour. I didn't think [the joke] was all that egregious," he said.

He then compared the incident to his 2008 conviction, saying: "I know this: After what happened to me in Las Vegas, if I would have done that in front of a million people watching around the world, they would've given me life without. I'm just sayin'."

Joe Rogan

Podcast host Joe Rogan didn't hold back and strongly disagreed with Smith's defence , calling the remark "the most mild of joke."

Speaking on Tuesday's episode of The Joe Rogan Experience , he said: "Everybody is just going to sit there in this s**t that you just took on the table, you just pulled your pants down and took a s**t on the dinner table and they all just have to sit there and look at it, that's what it's like."

Rogan added: "He's so goddamn famous and so removed from regular discourse and interaction with regular people that he, for whatever reason in his head, acted like he's a character in a movie."

Dehenna Davison

The MP has called for Smith to read her open letter following his unexpected strike against Rock.

Davison lost her dad when she was just 13 to a single punch in the head.

In the letter, she penned how she was a "huge fan" of The Fresh Prince actor's work but was "very disappointed" to see him use his "substantial platform not for good, but for the promotion of violence."

Ricky Gervais

Gervais responded to a tweet asking what would have happened if he were behind Will Smith's hand.

In response, the comedian insinuated that Smith wouldn't have hit someone with his stature and anger levels. He joked: "You're basically asking if he would slap a much heavier, angrier, drunker man."

Alec Baldwin

The actor, who faces a lawsuit after a gun he was holding on set went off and fatally wounded director Halyna Hutchins in October, shared his love for Chris Rock.

He wrote on Twitter: "I am not reading much about how, or even if, the producers attended to Chris. But I love you, Chris Rock.

"And I'm sorry the Oscars turned into The Jerry Springer Show ."

Angela Rayner

Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner criticised Smith and said he had set a bad example for young people.

Speaking to Kay Burley, she said it would be "completely unacceptable" if she "went over the despatch box and lamped Boris Johnson."

She told Sky News that "violence is never the answer" and said: "I get passionate and upset, we all do, but, you know, if I went over the despatch box and lamped Boris Johnson because I didn't like what he said, because he offended me, then that would be completely unacceptable, and I think it was unacceptable that Will did that, so I think it was right that he apologised."

She added: "You lose the debate if you resort yourself to violence."

Zoe Kravitz

Keeping it short and sweet, the 33-year-old Batman actress took to Instagram and said: "Here's a picture of my dress at the show where we are apparently assaulting people on stage now.

Richard Madeley

The incident became a talking point on Good Morning Britain, where hosts Richard Madeley and Suzanna Reid discussed the issue.

Madeley recalled interviewing Rock ahead of the Madagascar film, calling him the most "unpleasant" person he has ever interviewed in his career.

He said: "Without going into detail, it was a pre-recorded interview – had it been live we would have abandoned it.

"He was the most unpleasant, rude, aggressive, unlikeable human being I've ever interviewed on camera, without question."

Speaking about the altercation, Madeley said: "It's clearly not OK, but it's happened and once it's happened, you have to analyse the motives behind it.

"What I'm trying to suggest is, although you can say it was wrong, is it something you can say was understandable in the heat of the moment."

Amy Schumer

Oscars co-host Amy Schumer said she is "still triggered and traumatised" by the incident.

Schumer addressed "The Slap" for the first time since she awkwardly joked about it during the live ceremony, writing on Instagram: "I think we can all agree that the best way to unpack what happened is to stream my series Life and Beth and see me on tour this fall.

"But for real. Still triggered and traumatised. I love my friend Chris Rock and believe he handled it like a pro," she added.

Ben Shapiro

The controversial commentator took Smith's slap and turned it into a claim that liberals believe "microagressions should be met with actual physical violence."

"Should we be surprised that so many on the Left now believe that microaggressions should be met with actual physical violence? They've been clear about this for years," he wrote on Twitter.

Mia Farrow

American actress, activist, and former fashion model condemned Smith's actions, calling Rock's comment "a mild joke."

She tweeted: "It was just a joke. Jokes are what Chris Rock does. Always has been edgy. This was a mild joke for him. And i love GI Jane"

"What i saw was one of Hollywood's most powerful movie stars, stalk onto a stage to strike a comedian for an unfortunate joke about his (gorgeous) wife's shaved head. Anyone who is ok with that has probably never been hit by a powerful man. As we advise our kids, 'use your words'," Farrow added.

Whoopi Goldberg

Taking on her US panel show The View, the actress and serving Governor for the Academy's Actors branch said she thinks Smith "overreacted."

Goldberg said: "I think it was a lot of stuff probably built up.

"I think he overreacted… I think he had one of those moments where it was like [God damn] it, just stop. I get it, not everybody acts the way we would like them to act under pressure. And he snapped.

"Sometimes you get to a point when you behave badly," she continued. "I myself have behaved badly on occasion."

Sam Hoare

A conservative MP backed Smith's blow, saying that he would have went even further and "lamped" Rock.

"Regarding the Will Smith incident at The Oscars, I'd just hope if someone thought it in good taste to make a joke at the expense of a medical condition of my wife then I'd get up and lamp him," the MP for North Dorset said, adding: "The joke was tasteless."

Steph Curry

The NBA star shared his thoughts to Twitter, focusing on the silver lining from the shock altercation.

He wrote: "Like everybody.. I'm still in shock about the whole thing- but in all the unnecessary drama, at least we got the line of the night from Denzel…' In your highest moments, be careful, that's when the devil comes for you!'"

Piers Morgan

The British journalist chimed in on Smith's slap by criticising the demand for action against the actor compared to the so-called lack of it against Russian leader Vladamir Putin.

He said: "Fascinating to see many people on here furiously demanding more draconian action against Will Smith for slapping Chris Rock than they've demanded against Vladimir Putin for launching war against a whole country."

He also included the hashtag: "#Perspective".

Tim Allen

The actor and comedian shunned the slap, saying "it's not ok", regardless of the setting.

He tweeted, "It's not ok to come up on stage and hit a dude cause you don't like the humour. It's not ok at a Comedy Club, concert hall or hosting some cheeseball award show. Chris Rock is a stand-up comedian and a standup guy who carried on. I think I would have run."

Matthew Dowd

Former Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor in Texas quizzed whether there would have been a different reaction if the actor had confronted a female comedian.

"For all those defending Will Smith's violence and assault on Chris Rock, would you have same reaction if Amy Schumer had made the joke and Smith hit her?"

Kathy Griffin

The comedian highlighted her concerns that the Oscars altercation could lead to further violence.

"Let me tell you something, it's a very bad practice to walk up on stage and physically assault a Comedian," Griffin said. "Now we all have to worry about who wants to be the next Will Smith in comedy clubs and theaters."

Kayleigh McEnany

The former Trump White House press secretary said Smith's slap showed double standards for conservative women.

"I watched Sarah Sanders sit there, my predecessor, with such grace and poise and kindness and just sit there and take it," she said. "If you're a Republican woman, you have to take it. If you are a celebrity and you engage in this behavior and you'll have people come to your defense!"

Nadhim Zahawi

Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi described Smith as "one of my favourite actors" and said Rock was "mistaken" to make a joke about his wife.

Speaking to LBC, Zahawi said: "Violence is never the answer to any problem-solving, as Will Smith admitted himself in that tearful, heart-wrenching apology.

"I think we should also remember – and I'm the Education Secretary – that actually sometimes even a joke can be below the belt.

"When a joke is about somebody's wife and her illness – she has alopecia – it is wrong. I think Chris Rock was mistaken to do that to Mrs Smith."

He added: "I have to say, a first Oscar for one of my favourite actors was wonderful to see – marred by that incident, sadly."

Sophia Bush

The One Tree Hill actress said both of them "need a breather" before shunning the entire situation as "awful."

On Twitter, she wrote: "Violence isn't ok. Assault is never the answer. Also? This is the 2nd time that Chris has made fun of Jada on the #Oscars stage, & tonight he went after her alopecia. Punching down at someone's auto-immune disease is wrong. Doing so on purpose is cruel. They both need a breather."

"For people asking if her alopecia is public knowledge? Yes. She 1st spoke about it in 2018. She's been open about it since & the Smiths/Rock have a long-overlapping circle. Hitting him was not okay. AND his "joke" was cruel & personal. All of it, awful."

Jodie Turner-Smith

The British model and actress didn't take any sides, but instead shared that she has "second hand embarrassment for all involved."

She tweeted: "And as far as *that incident* goes….. I am still processing it. I have second-hand embarrassment for all involved."

Ayanna Pressley

Representative Ayanna Pressley jumped to the defence of Smith before quickly removing the tweet.

A screengrab of what was posted before she deleted it has been shared online by journalist Grace Panetta and shows Pressley supporting Smith for defending his wife with alopecia.

She wrote: "#Alopecia nation stand up! Thank you #WillSmith Shout out to all the husbands who defend the wives living with alopecia in the face of daily ignorance & insults.

Smith has since apologised to Rock with a lengthy statement posted to Instagram .

He called out violence as "poisonous and destructive," before condemning his behaviour as "unacceptable and inexcusable."

"Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada's medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally," he explained.

"I would like to publicly apologise to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness," Smith penned before going on to apologise to the Academy, producers, attendees and viewers.

He signed off: "I am a work in progress."

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