Chris Rock praised on social media for not striking Will Smith at Oscars

Comedian Chris Rock is being praised on social media for not hitting actor Will Smith during their now-infamous altercation at the Oscars on Sunday night, according to Fox News.

The pair became the biggest story in the nation when Rock made an ill-considered joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, which prompted Smith to march up on stage and open-hand slap the comedian while he was still on stage.

“Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it, all right?” Rock joked, referring to the 1997 film G.I. Jane, starring Demi Moore, who shaved her head to portray a fictional female U.S. Navy SEAL candidate.

Pinkett Smith revealed in 2018 that she was diagnosed with alopecia, which is an auto-immune condition that causes hair to fall out in chunks.

She has frequently discussed her challenges with the illness on various forms of social media, and has made everything about it common knowledge.

“Smith walked onto the stage from his front-row seat and took a swing at Rock with an open palm, generating a loud smack,” Fox News reported. “Smith walked back to his seat and shouted for Rock to leave Pinkett Smith alone. Rock replied that he was just making a ‘G.I. Jane’ joke – and Smith yelled back at him a second time.”

Smith shouted at Rock: “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth,” and the crowd became hushed as it was clear that it was not a joke.

The clip went viral as the internet deemed it “the slap heard ’round the world,” and questions about the acceptability of Smith standing up for his wife with violence began to circulate.

“If Chris Rock had hit Will Smith back, we all would have said Chris Rock is a bad person right?” one viewer tweeted. “Firstly, we all need to applaud his professionalism for not hitting Will Smith back. The words Will Smith said at the end could have been said instead of slapping him and he’d stop.”

“Imagine if Chris Rock slapped back then you’d have a brawl at the Oscars,” another chimed.

“Not everybody knew Jada had skin issues?” one user commented. “I didn’t know she had health problems until my wife said something. You could stand up for your wife’s honor without physical violence. Had Chris Rock hit back and a brawl perused we’d be saying something different.”

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