One question about Will Smith’s violent Oscars outburst is still lingering today, as bizarre details give fuel to internet conspiracy theorists.
In the tense seconds and minutes that followed Will Smith’s violent onstage Oscars outburst yesterday, most people had one question: Was this real or staged?
And it seems that one day on, the question lingers for some, as online conspiracy theories abound that comedian Chris Rock was somehow in on a “stunt” that saw him smacked across the face by Will for making a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith.
For most, any speculation that the shocking incident was a pre-planned bit had dissipated by the time Smith stormed back to his seat and furiously yelled at Rock to “KEEP MY WIFE’S NAME OUT YOUR F**KING MOUTH” – not once, but twice.
A visibly shaken Rock could only respond with a sheepish “I’m going to,” before taking a pause and continuing on to present the night’s next award, blinking and stammering as he went.
But several elements of the bizarre scandal have proven to be fuel for internet conspiracy theorists, with wild speculation that Rock was in on the whole thing.
Will’s prescient Insta post
Smith appeared to predict the shocking onstage confrontation hours before it happened, posting a video of he and Jada to his Instagram account with an unusual caption.
“Me ‘n Jada Pinkett Smith got all dressed up to choose chaos,” the caption stated – an odd pronouncement for a man heading to Hollywood’s most prestigious award ceremony, and at the time widely expected to be picking up his first Best Actor Oscar.
Chaos? He certainly delivered.
Body language expert’s doubts
A body language expert interviewed by The Sun cast doubts on whether or not the violent incident was legit claiming that it was unusual Rock didn’t “nurse his face” after being hit so suddenly and viscerally by Smith.
“Will is a big guy and I would have expected Chris to hit the floor, even if it was just from shock,” said body language expert Judi James.
“Chris’s apparent lack of ‘hurt’ response was probably what caused many people to believe they were watching a stunt.”
Another element of the incident that you don’t need to be a “body language expert” to notice: Smith was shown on camera initially letting out a hearty laugh to Rock’s joke, a “G.I. Jane” crack referencing her shaved head. Pinkett-Smith, who has spoken publicly about her struggle with the auto-immune hair loss disorder alopecia, looked annoyed and rolled her eyes at the joke. Within seconds, her husband had left her side and was storming the stage.
Then there was the fact that, after the most shocking onstage moment in Oscars history, the show just trundled on as if nothing ever happened. Within minutes we were on to the In Memoriam segment, which culminated with actress Jamie Lee Curtis holding a puppy onstage as she paid tribute to Hollywood legend and animal lover Betty White.
Surely, some asked, Smith would be asked to leave? Or one of the event’s three hosts – Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall – would be shoved onstage to try and calm the tension in the room, offering some soothing words to get the train back on track?
Not so – it was left to presenter P Diddy to half-heartedly insist that it was “all love” and that Smith and Rock would surely settle their differences at an after-party.
By the time Smith won his first Best Actor Oscar 20 minutes later, he was given a standing ovation by his peers.
And no, the pair did not bury the hatchet after the event – Rock, who declined to file a police report, was spotted looking “unfazed” at music manager Guy Oseary’s after-party as various A-listers rallied around him.
And Will? Seems he’d already forgotten about assaulting an Oscars presenter in front of a worldwide audience of millions – he looked jubilant at the Vanity Fair after-party, dancing to his own hits with his Oscar in-hand.
It seems like this time, the truth really is stranger than the wildest internet conspiracy theories.