“The Slap:” Chris Rock got what he deserved, students say

Sunday night, Will Smith won the first Oscar of his career — for best actor in the film, “King Richard.” But not before he made headlines by slapping Chris Rock on live TV after the comedian, while presenting at the show, made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

People in the audience and watching at home at first couldn’t believe it wasn’t some act cooked up by Smith and Rock. But soon it became obvious that Smith really hit Rock, and meant it. 

What do you think? Was Smith right to lash out against Rock for the insult? Or was his violent reaction over the line?

The slap was well deserved. Chris Rock has been making inappropriate/not funny jokes about the Smith family for a long time now at award shows, hopefully he finally got the hint. This would be crossing the line if it happened repeatedly, but this is the first time it happened, why are people so annoyed by it? If you were at an award show and someone started making fun of your wife’s illness, what would you do? If you decided to sit there and just let it happen, how can you do that? Was the slap a little unprofessional? Yes. But was it unnecessary? No. Even though Chris Rock is a comedian, there is a line and sometimes comedians cross it. This is a prime example; how do you even think someone else’s illness is even remotely funny? The greatest part (in my opinion) of this whole controversy Will Smith winning an award and moving on like it didn’t happen.

Zepa C

Will Smith did the right thing by slapping Chris Rock on live TV. Of course, this is not the first time he had made jokes about Will Smith’s family; it has happened before. I do not understand why Chris Rock continues to joke about stuff he has nothing to do with. He insulted Will Smith’s wife (Jada Pinkett Smith) so that is on him, he should deal with the consequences. Will Smith could have just insulted Chris Rock back but sometimes violence solves things better and drops hints better. I am glad Will Smith had gotten up and handled things himself. I personally do not think it is okay to insult someone else’s wife like that, especially on live TV. The slap was fair, Will Smith did the right thing to defend his wife in front of everyone. The slap was well deserved on Chris, hopefully he learned his lesson.

— Angelica R

He shouldn’t have hit him because it was a joke. He shouldn’t have had a violent reaction even if he was mad. He should have taken the high road and just talked to him. I don’t really care about the Oscars or anything like that though. He should have been nicer.

— Gunnar C

Will Smith was in the right. Jada is his wife, and he had every right to defend her. I would have done the same thing, but it does not mean that was the absolute BEST way to handle the situation (I personally would have slapped Chris harder). Chris’s joke wasn’t funny or even okay, it was completely inappropriate. So here is my final answer: Will was in the complete right.

Kye D

I do not know what happened but what I heard was Chris Rock was making jokes about the Smith family, so I mean there was a reason to slap him super hard in the face but why on live television? It could have been off camera instead of on live tv in front of everyone, but I really do not care about the topic of Will Smith smacking someone in the face. Now I know what happened at the Oscars then people getting awards for movies and other stuff, but he ate that slap like it was nothing. But now there are a lot of memes of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock in the face. That was disrespectful to make jokes about someone’s family live on television and in front of everyone, but Chris Rock is a comedian, so it was going to happen one day when he would make jokes about someone’s family.

— Maxamillion C

To show such violence during the Oscars is probably not the best decision and may be a bit improper, but that doesn’t mean that Will Smith was wrong in this situation.

Making unkind remarks of someone’s wife live on TV and calling it a “joke” seems a bit amateurish. The joke that Chris Rock made was not funny at all and was also not the first time that he had made these kinds of jokes about Will Smith’s wife so maybe that slap was deserved. But I think the way Will Smith handled it afterwards and acted as if nothing much happened was highly professional.

I don’t know a lot about Oscars, but I do know that constantly making jokes about someone and them not finding it funny is not the best thing to do. Personally, I also won’t just sit there and just accept it. The violence was probably not necessary, but the joke wasn’t needed from the start.

— Yen N

Will Smith was right to do that as he was making fun of his wife even though there were other ways it could have been handled. What Will Smith did was deserved as it was extremely rude for Chris Rock to make that joke at his wife.

— Jaidyn R

Chris Rock’s joke wasn’t okay but Will Smith could have handled it better. Chris Rock has made multiple jokes about the Smith family and at some point it gets too far. There’s no reason to continuously antagonize people and expect nothing. The slap was unprofessional but definitely deserved. Will Smith could have resorted to so many other options. Smacking someone on live TV definitely isn’t going to be anyone’s proudest moment. If I was in Will Smith’s position, I probably would have went off instinct too.

— Klohi D

The altercation was well deserved. But I feel like there were other ways to handle it. But this isn’t the first time Chris Rock has said something offensive at award shows. Back in 2016 Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, boycotted the Oscars because of the lack of diversity. During the show, Chris Rock stated, “Jada said she’s not coming, protest. I was like, ‘Isn’t she on a TV show?’ Jada’s going to boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited!” This being said, this wasn’t the first time he said cruel and offensive remarks. Yes, the slap was unprofessional, but well deserved. I hope Chris stops making disgusting and offensive comments, especially during an award show.

— Madison G

Will Smith is right. Of course, no one should ever slap someone live, but that’s the same for making a joke about someone’s friend/family. Either way, when you make fun of something, the guy who did it, no matter if it’s fun or not, should be punished physically or mentally, whichever works the best. In this case, it certainly was the right choice to hit him. I’m sure I would have done something way harder, specifically related to kicking. Anyway, I do not represent any people, and my opinion is my own, so do not be mad if mine is not the same as yours.

— Charlyn G

Will Smith did what he had to do to stand up for his wife. Chris Rock did not have the right to make fun of his wife. Although slapping him didn’t solve anything that much, Chris Rock should have known by that slap that he shouldn’t have gone overboard and make inappropriate jokes. Overall, I think Will Smith did the right thing by slapping him.

— Melita M

The slap was deserved because Chris has said things like this is in the past. It wasn’t the best choice, but he deserved it.

— Mac M