On March 27th, 2022, Will Smith shocked the nation when he slapped Chris Rock on stage at the 94th Oscar Academy Awards. Following an insensitive joke made by Rock about Will Smith's wife, Jada, Smith wasn't exactly on board with it. Just four months later, comedian Kevin Hart has finally spoken out on his close friend Smith and where he is now...
Let's be honest, after an altercation like that in front of millions of people, the "radio silence" from Smith was perhaps expected. Despite his comedic take on life, Rock incorporated Jada's alopecia into a small joke about a G.I Jane 2 film, considering Demi Moore shaved her head to play her role in the first film. The camera initially caught Smith laughing, but Jada didn't look too happy. Rock knew he had gone a little too far with this one and awkwardly moved on, but not fast enough. Despite the man sticking up for his wife, Smith's slap was so strong it overpowered Rock's mic. Ouch. Rock was stunned just as much as Jada as Smith shouted, "keep my wife's name out your mouth." From that moment forward, Smith and Rock's friendship became... unknown.
Close friend and famous comedian Kevin Hart has decided to help fill in the blanks. Since the slap, Smith has traveled to India for "spiritual healing" and checked himself into a "luxury rehab clinic" to manage stress. Four months down the line, Hart claimed his good friend is now in a "better place." Being close pals with both Smith and Rock, he hopes "the two of them find a way to find some solace in that and move past it." While viewers accepted no excuses for Smith's slap, Hart stands by him, explaining, "Will is apologetic, you know... People are human, and as humans, sometimes we make mistakes. So it's not about talking about the past, it's about acknowledging the present and doing your best to move forward." Rumors even surfaced about a prolonged feud between Rock and Smith, so maybe the slap was a long time coming?
Though Smith nor Rock took any further legal steps, the Academy banned the fresh Prince of Belair from the awards for ten years as punishment. Smith might or might not regret his actions, but the consequences come at their own cost. Jada also opened up about the scenario in her talk show Red Table Talk, addressing the situation and touching on the fact that these "capable men have an opportunity to heal, talk this out, and reconcile." Though Smith publicly apologized, it will likely take a lot more to fully move forward. Until then, stay tuned.