Video shows Will Smith being consoled by Denzel Washington, Bradley Cooper after Chris Rock slap. Watch
- Videos and pictures from inside the Academy Awards venue show Denzel Washington and Bradley Cooper consoling Will Smith after he slapped comedian Chris Rock on stage at the event.
On Sunday night, actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars for an apparently disrespectful joke the comedian told about the actor's wife Jada Pinkett Smith. Although Will has been criticised for choosing physical violence to express his displeasure, an inside video from the Academy Awards venue shows the actor being comforted and consoled by industry colleagues. Will was seen to be quite shaken after the incident. When he won the Best Actor award a few minutes later, he teared up during his acceptance speech. Also read: Chris Rock's joke was bad, Will's reaction worse. What about Jada?
Columnist Scott Feinberg shared a video from inside the theatre in between the awards, where Will could be seen being comforted by a number of individuals. Describing the video, Scott wrote, "During the commercial break, Will Smith is pulled aside and comforted by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry, who motion for him to brush it off. Will appears to wipe tears from his eyes as he sits back down with Jada, with Denzel comforting Jada and Will’s rep by his side."
In other pictures from the event, actor Bradley Cooper can be seen giving an emotional Will a hug in an apparent bid to console him. Variety reported that Will's publicist sat with the family and spoke with them at every commercial break after the slap incident.
Many fans, however, were outraged that celebrities were consoling the man who committed the assault instead of the one who was assaulted. Podcaster and author Elizabeth Vargas replied to Scott's tweet and wrote, "Really? He was comforted after assaulting another man on live TV and swearing at him? Because of a tasteless joke?" A social media user replied, "They’re comforting the guy who slapped a comedian?" Much in the same vein, another wrote, "I think they are comforting the wrong guy."
Several fans lent their weight behind Chris applauding how he handled the situation on stage and looked to de-escalate the matter after Will slapped him. "I’m sorry…unpopular opinion here…but I think Chris really showed a lot of composure here…on an international stage. This could have gone even worse if Chris responded in any other way," tweeted a fan.
However, there was a section of fans that supported and defended Will, saying that what he did was justified given Chris' disrespectful joke at Jada's expense. One fan wrote, "Much respect to Will, setting the precedence putting family above everything everything else!"
Will did apologise about the incident during his acceptance speech but only to his fellow nominees and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organisers of the Oscars. There was no apology for Chris. The comedian, on his part, refused to file a police complaint about the assault, according to reports.