Will Smith: Best Actor, Worst Apologizer
In this breaking news episode, Hoja, Kiki, and Mohanad react to the slap heard around the world. They share their initial thoughts on Will’s confrontation with Chris Rock, analyze his Best Actor acceptance speech slash quasi-apology, dive into the internet response, and decide whether or not Will still needs to say sorry to Chris. Plus, Mohanad predicts who will host the Oscars next year.
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Mohanad Elshieky, Kiki Monique, Hoja Lopez
Hoja Lopez 00:05
Hello, and welcome to I’m sorry, a podcast about apologies, today we have a bonus episode for you, where we will be going over the tea between Will Smith and Chris Rock and everything that went down at the Oscars. I am so glad to be able to process this and go through it with you. Because what the fuck, it is just, it’s so crazy. And obviously proven by the fact that the Australian clip of the incident has now 37 million views. So obviously people are interested in the story and want to talk about it. So let’s get into it.
I mean, there was no way we were going to wait a whole week to talk about the Oscars. I mean, we obviously have to do a bonus episode, because this was, you know, you guys know I don’t even watch award shows. I am so glad I turned in for every single moment of this one. Because, this is like, people are gonna be like, Do you remember where you are? When Will Smith smack the shit out of Chris Rock? Yeah, I know exactly where I was.
oh, I am so nervous. Because I’m very laffy about this with some just like, I just don’t know how to process it.
Well, which is so fitting because I think, you know, the weird laughter thing played a big part in how this whole thing went down. You know? And I mean, yeah,
You know, I remember, I saw it and when it happened on live TV, and my first reaction was, first of all, like everyone else. Is this a bit? And if it is a bit, what’s this bit? Why is it even funny?
I’m getting so annoyed actually, by the people who are going on about how fake this is. Because people who are thinking this is fake. I can only think one of two things, either they’re only seeing clips online. And they’re seeing just the smack right in their thinking, yeah, Oscars needed to get their ratings up. And then they didn’t see the whole thing. Or two, they’ve just been in lockdown so long that they have forgotten what true human reaction is. Because anybody who watched that entire incident from start to finish knows there was nothing fake about that, everyone was shocked, stunned, speechless. And I mean, I think at one point, Chris Rock, I’m pretty sure I saw his face even swelling up from the smack. I mean, him trying to go on.
Hoja Lopez 02:29
Oh, my God.
I mean, kudos to him for going on. I don’t know how I would handle something like this. It’s, I mean, it’s not this maggot just, I just feel like it’s it has to be embarrassing, you know, for that to happen to you, and like millions of people, and then you’re supposed to just keep going. And I love that there was a second where you can tell he wanted to say something. And somewhere in his ear was just like, please, please don’t just, let’s just keep it at this. Let’s not make it any worse. He was just like, ready with the jokes. Were just like, yeah, let’s not make this any, any worse.
I mean, Chris Rock’s joke was just bad to begin with, right? Like men spend so much time you know, if a woman doesn’t have hair, right? It’s like GI Jane, like, how many times have we heard this joke? It’s just a bad joke overall.
Also, like an old reference, is that the only thing you can think of, but also like, I mean, like the other thing that we have to acknowledge that like, none of these presenters really write their own jokes. This was a joke that was you know; the writers pitch and it was approved. And, you know, at the end of the day, he said it, but it’s not, you know, it’s not his joke. The other thing I’m thinking about is when you watch the video again, that walk, that Will Smith did from his seat to all the way to Chris Rock, kind of like a long walk a bit. And I feel like at some point, maybe in the middle of him like getting there, he was like, is this a bad idea? But then he was just like, I just, I guess, I just gotta keep walking. I gotta keep you know, have to continue now.
Hoja Lopez 04:09
Yeah, in a trial, they would have trouble discerning this from like, something that was like planned ahead of time. And should he received capital murder or is it gonna be dropped down to like to manslaughter.
Like after like the 700 step, it’s like, it starts feeling like premeditation.
Too much time to think about it from the moment that you stood up until you actually got to him.
Absolutely, yeah. Even Chris Rock at that moment. It’s like, it was such a long walk. But it was also because we expected at the other end of that, I think even Chris expected that under that to be maybe like a ribbing, a joke. Maybe he puts him in a headlock something to you know, defend his wife because he knew he made a joke about his wife. Nobody expected it to actually be a smack across the face because I think that’s why we kind of let the walk go on. cuz it’s like, where’s this going? He’s going up on stage to defend his wife in some way.
Yeah. Also, let’s, I mean, let’s say this and you can see that on video, when Chris Rock made his joke, Will Smith have laughed. He laughed. And then he looked at his wife and she was upset. And that is when he was like, okay, now I got to do something about it. And I was just like, man, come on, you can’t laugh at the joke and then just be like, okay, now I’m gonna change my mind.
The only reason I you know, during his acceptance speech where he talked about the fact that like, you know, as celebrities, we have to laugh off a lot of things. I do actually think in that moment. He probably thought his wife was going to laugh it off, too, because they are, they have gotten pummeled, like ever since the red table, talk entanglements. All we talk about is their marriage, you know, isn’t open marriage, you know, this whole Jada and Tupac thing? Right? He’s been getting, I mean, for lack of a better word, kind of, like made to look like a bitch in their relationship. I will say that, right. He’s been emasculated, I will say. And so I think he was he thought he was gonna look over and see her laughing and when he didn’t, yeah, I think that’s when things shift.
Mohanad Elshieky 06:10
Okay. yeah, that makes sense to me. Yeah. Also, like the other thing, you know, I’m sure you’ve seen all of the takes online. So many opinions on twitter.com. A lot of jokes are funny. But some of the takes oh, my God, some people. Wow, freedom of speech. Truly given it to everyone and anyone. Like, here’s the thing, okay, this is bad. It shouldn’t have happened. I don’t condone just going on stage and slapping a comedian across the face. That’s just, you know, something that we can all agree on. But to say things like, okay, this is a violent incident, and someone should get the LAPD involved. And it’s like, why are you calling 911 on a live broadcast? It was just like, literally, what are you doing? And to say, this is a violent incident and then being like, you know what, we’ll make it less violent. The LAPD, yeah, let’s get them involved. And a very peaceful organization who has never done anything wrong. Or people who are saying, you know, like, this is the ugliest Oscar Moment. This is the worst thing that happened in the Oscar. Is it? Woody Allen got an Oscar in 2012. I’d say that’s an ugly moment.
Did y’all, like for me, the moment the space of time between it happening and him winning. And just like not knowing if he was gonna win, or if the LAPD was gonna show up and grab him from arm by arm or like, if he was gonna get pulled out of the awards. That moment right there in between those. That is, it’s the most confusing moment in my life.
I mean, I think I knew he was gonna win. And that’s why I was so uncomfortable. The rest of the talk, first of all, about how bad I felt for the fact that Questlove then wins the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature, and then it’s overshadowed by this whole thing. So feel totally bad for Questlove. But then it’s like, I’m sitting there waiting, because I know the moments coming where Will is about to win this award. And, again, it’s this really historic moment, because he’s only the fifth Black actor to get this award. He hasn’t been nominated in 20 years. A Black actor hasn’t won in 16 years, like this is a really big moment. Which is another reason when people say it’s fake. It’s like, why would he torpedo his whole night when you know, it’s all around this. I mean, and having to watch his speech afterwards, and people are uncomfortable, was just like, the whole time I’m literally if I had pearls, I would be grasping. I’m so uncomfortable for everyone right now.
Mohanad Elshieky 08:57
I also really feel bad for Serena, Venus Williams. They’re just like they have been having a weird award season. And I just love when Will Smith was just like, King Richard was a fierce defender of his family and they’re like, don’t put this on me. This is not the kind of swinging […]
The strangeness of that speech was first of all, you could tell he was desperately measuring each awkward pauses in between. He was like fighting back emotion like there was a lot going on in the speech and the idea that he’s sort of like, repeating himself a little But like, he knows that he has it, that he has this sort of like space to, I guess kind of like, apologize, but then kind of just apologizes to the academy, and then brings up like […] and brings up […] like the two actresses that played Venus and Serena. I’m just curious, like, what do you guys think was going through his mind as he’s saying those things because he also like mentions Denzel, that like a thing of in your best moment that you have to be careful because that’s when the devil comes for you. He’s literally, I feel he’s literally describing what just happened. But that little pull aside and what he’s saying, what were your thoughts on like the actual speech?
Kiki Monique 10:42
Honestly, I just, I could only think the entire time was he felt really stupid, right? I think he felt stupid in that moment. He knew everyone was looking at him. He had to kind of just like, make this a thing. I mean, he apologized to everyone except Chris. Because I’m like, at that point, is he just leaning into like, there was a reason I did this. And I don’t know everything. Everything about it was so uncomfortable. I couldn’t even concentrate. Honest. To be honest with you. I can’t even concentrate on anything other than like, what happens now? Like, where do we go from here? Like, do you go to the party with crit? Like, I kept thinking about what was what was gonna happen next.
I feel like I mean, Chris Rock is obviously like owed an apology. Maybe he’ll apologize for joke. It doesn’t really matter. Like, it’s not really the point here, but I feel like, you know, something needs to happen, like that man had to go through so much. And it just fucking sucks.
Yeah. And I think it was all just like he was it was taken out on him. But I think there was so many things that led up to why Will Smith broken that moment that we don’t know, there’s so much to unpack. And unfortunately, Chris was on the receiving end of it. Because I do think that honestly, like, if there had been someone else on stage, I don’t think it would have gone down like that. Like, I just think it was. And here’s the thing, if you really truly want to defend your wife, like if that is the reason for it, do it. Take it elsewhere, right? Like if you really want to, like you have plenty of private parties, you are Hollywood elite, go meet him at the after party and meet him in the parking lot. Whatever. That was just like not the place, not the time.
Hoja Lopez 12:30
Not a commensurate response either. Like if somebody tells a bad insulting joke about your wife, like, it sucks. But the physical to the other thing like that, to me, it doesn’t that’s not protection. She’s not physically in danger. She doesn’t need physical protection from you.
Yeah, and a lot of you can see like a lot of them, you know, a lot of people saying, good for him, like for defending his wife, this is how you should, just like a lot of the toxic masculinity the takes that you just see, of people just being like, yeah, this is exactly what I would have done. Well, I mean, I don’t know, get help.
Cuz why are we, anyone who had tuned in 1015 minutes later would not even have known this incident had happened, because we just moved on. And I’m sorry, that was a completely humiliating experience that Chris had to go through on live TV. And it’s just weird that, you know, we’ll get some to his speech and talks about wanting to be a vessel of love, but doesn’t even offer an apology for that aspect of it, for embarrassing this man who I thought they were friends with thought they were cool. On live TV, you can’t even you said I’m sorry, to literally the Academy Awards. But not this man.
Also, that was Chris Rock, you know, like, it wasn’t just like some dude, that you’re just like, Yeah, you know, like, I feel like people are forgetting that. And I’m just like, you know, like, he’s like a well-respected comedian and a man and all of that stuff. And I mean, he has a family too. And he has kids as well. What do you think his kids think about seeing this? You know, like, there’s like so much like, you’re not just thinking about your family here. And I don’t know. I mean, I mean, I don’t know. I’m sure they were like it like, you know, talk about in private and like, and all of that stuff. To just pretend that this was okay. I think that’s the issue. That was like, an adequate response to it. It doesn’t make any sense to me. I’ll say though. I feel like starting next year, if they continue to have a host, probably they’ll just have Jason Momoa host the whole thing.
Kiki Monique 14:57
The smartest choice
Yeah, get up on stage and try to reach that man’s face.
I had so many flashbacks of like these like, big moments in the past like I remember having a very kind of like, similar feeling with the whole like Beyonce Jay Z and Solange thing in the, in the elevator. Yeah, I’m just like, oh my god like, like, it’s not that it’s like this violence like, I don’t think Chris Rock was permanently hurt or disfigured or actually like, physically wounded like we can handle the human body can handle a little bit of a tussle. But there is something to be said about, like escalating past the point of just a conversation or, or that does have this like toxicity to it. And so I kind of can’t see Will Smith in the same way. Like, I just don’t like, I know that he’s a full human person. But this whole, like, confusing this toxic masculinity, with the brand of protecting women, that is really problematic. And I really don’t like that. I mean, I was imagining this, if I was in a public place, and my partner attack somebody in quote, my honor, I would die, I would just think it’s the single most embarrassing thing that anybody could ever do to me. So I don’t know what like, what her take is gonna be what Jay does take it really is or how she actually feels, or whether or not that’s going to match, like the messaging that they put out later. I just know how I would feel in that situation. And I think it would just..
Kiki Monique 16:39
I mean, I think that someone brought up how I think in Will Smith’s biography. He talks about a moment where like, his father hit his mother and how he regrets like something about not being able to stand up in that moment, but And so, but also coming from, you know, violence, you know, you would think that your reaction, you know, would be different under these circumstances. So it’s kind of like, I don’t know, there’s a dichotomy there. Because it’s like, you want to protect your woman and all of these things. But let’s also like, I get why you would want to protect your woman because look, again, beyond like the no hair thing and the Black women with hair thing. I feel all of these things, but I legitimately do not think that Chris Rock knew Jada had alopecia. Right? And so I don’t think it came from that. I think it was just, again, a hack joke about women and having no hair and this like, GI Jane thing. And like you said, Mohanad, he didn’t even write the joke. He just sort of delivered it. And it was bad, but, I don’t know.
I don’t know. All I know is that it’s gonna be weeks and weeks before these memes die down. And I for one, cannot wait. But also, I’m so annoyed at all of them already.
And excited to hear all of these. I know they’re gonna like get think pieced to death about this, And some of the tastes are gonna be stuff like that you wouldn’t even imagine like, How will Smith attacking Chris Rock mirrors the Russian invasion and how NFT’s are gonna save us or something.
Kiki Monique 18:14
Don’t go to my page. I already wrote mine.
It’s gonna be a stuff, a lot of stuff like this and how, and this is how we got Trump as president like stuff that I’m just like, what are you even talking about? And I’m already seeing some of these takes and I’m just like, please, for the love of God. Stop taking every moment and just making it into such a weird, like, find like weird associations to it. Sometimes stuff are not related.
I will say I can’t help myself. I mean, like, I’m already kind of getting dragged on line because I like of course, I couldn’t help but think about Kanye in this moment only because Kanye has banned from the Grammys, because this is the incident they expected to come from him which is why they are allowing him to perform there. It’s just it’s interesting, right? Where it’s like yeah, we weren’t expecting this from Will Smith yet We have pre banned Kanye when all he’s actually done not all but I mean, he has harassed but he hasn’t hit anyone. He hasn’t done anything touched anyone but we’re already pre banning him, but yet will showed up and showed out, shoved up and showed out.
Thank you so much for listening to I’M SORRY. I am so glad we got to talk about all of this together. We do have another episode coming out this Friday, which just talks a little bit more extensively about this as well as other award shows now foods and the entire season including the Golden Globes and everything that went down at the end of 2021. We are excited to talk to you guys about you know all of this stuff and looking forward to hearing your impressions.
I’M SORRY is a Lemonada Media Original. The show is produced by Alex McOwen, supervising producer is Kryssy Pease. Our executive producers are Stephanie Wittels Wachs and Jessica Cordova Kramer. Our mix is by Kat Yore and theme music was composed by Xander Singh. If you like this show, please rate and review. And please don’t cancel us. You can find out more about our show at @LemonadaMedia on all social platforms, or follow us on Instagram at @imsorry_podcast. We’ll be back next week and until then be nice, play fair and always say I’m sorry. Thanks for listening!