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Chris Rock’s Previous Oscars Joke About Jada Pinkett Smith Is On A Lot Of People’s Minds After That Slap From Will

By now, you are well aware (even if you didn’t watch The Oscars) of what happened at The Oscars. Will Smith smacked Chris Rock, onstage, after he made a G.I. Jane joke about Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Then Chris carried on with the show, and Will pretty clearly referenced the moment while winning Best Actor (his weepy speech included, “Love will make you do crazy things”). By then, the show was in chaos mode with some viewers still wondering if the moment was real, but it certainly sounded real and, in the light of day, is being seen as such with the Academy denouncing violence in a pointed statement.

The fallout is enormous, with a little bit of that (initially) landing on the verified Will Smith Twitter account (not owned by Will Smith, the actor). A larger discussion about violence is now taking place, and (just for some context, not as anything close to an excuse), it’s worth looking at the history. This wasn’t the first time that Rock told jokes about Jada (and Will) at the Oscars. In 2016, Rock hosted the show and made light of Jada boycotting the Oscars (over a lack of diversity), which Rock likened to “me boycotting Rihanna’s panties–I wasn’t invited!” In the below clip, Rock also spoke to those who believed that Will should have been nominated (for Concussion), and Rock reacted with this: “It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West.”

It’s a clip worth noting for some historical context, for sure, yet it doesn’t erase the reality that Will Smith reacted to a joke in the way that he did. Yes, Jada has spoken openly about being afflicted with alopecia, and the GI Jane joke wasn’t fantastic (whether or not Rock was aware of the reason for Jada’s hairstyle), but yeah, boy, what a mess. The fallout will continue, and people sure are remembering the 2016 jokes.

If you need something a little less tension-filled, remember how Timothée Chalamet tried to start the show off in a less controversial way? Man, what a night.

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