The One Where Will Smith Punched Chris Rock
As you can plainly see, it's a slap and not a punch, so the early reports of Will Smith's brief period of red mist at the Oscars were undoubtedly exaggerated. This should come as no surprise, given what we already know about the media's general affinity for creating more news than there is. I'm only surprised that they didn't claim he'd murdered him.
I, like everyone, sat there open-mouthed, after I realised that this wasn't scripted and despite Smith's initial reaction to laugh it off, something came over him. Something deep and primal, even in this most formal of environments - to protect those he loves. He used his speech when winning Best Actor to explain his actions and apologise not to Chris Rock, but to the Academy and his fellow nominees.
In the interval after the event, Smith was seen at the side of the stage talking, clearly still agitated, to Denzel Washington, we can only assume about his own actions. Whether the Academy agree to allow Smith to return, not least present the Best Actress Oscar to the winner next year, is still open to debate. If Rocks' comments were a joke as is claimed, or even a purposeful comment about Smith's wife dressed up as humour, Smith's actions and foul-mouthed tirade at Chris Rock is completely unacceptable and not a response that most parents would advocate to their children who may have been watching.
These icons lead by example and whilst Smith may have judged this response permissible even if only for a fraction of a second, he was most certainly wrong.