LGBTQ celebrities react to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars

Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at the Oscars
Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at the Oscars (Photo: A.M.P.A.S)

The most infamous moment from last night’s Oscars was—as the whole world now knows—when Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock.

The shocking moment came after Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia. Rock said Jada was waiting for “GI Jane 2” (the movie in which Demi Moore sported a crew cut).

At first, Will Smith laughed, but wife Jada looked unimpressed. Moments later, Will Smith strode up to the stage and forcibly slapped Rock.

He then returned to his seat and shouted at Rock to, “keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth!”

Within the hour, Will Smith had won Best Actor for his role in King Richard. He gave a tearful acceptance speech, apologizing to the Academy for his actions.

Several LGBTQ celebrities have responded to the moment. Variety’s Marc Malkin caught up with some of them at the ceremony, including Colman Domingo.

Billy Eichner described it as a “very surreal, very strange” moment.

Related: Billy Eichner casts LGBTQ actors in all the main roles for his new studio rom-com

Mj Rodriguez said, “Sometimes human emotions happen. Sometimes human interactions happen. We can’t judge people based on their moments.”

Comedian Joel Kim Booster compared it to John Travolta infamously mispronouncing Idina Menzel’s name at the Oscars in 2014.

Sandra Bernhard also looked back at other Oscar gaffes.

Sandra Bernhard tweets about Will Smith slap at Oscars 2022

Lil Nas X was as shocked as everyone else.

Randy Rainbow feared for other presenters.

Leslie Jordan was scandalized.


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George Takei, without naming anyone, reminded folk that celebrities have a responsibility to be good role models.

LGBTQ ally Kathy Griffin went viral with a tweet slamming Will Smith: “Let me tell you something, it’s a very bad practice to walk up on stage and physically assault a Comedian. Now we all have to worry about who wants to be the next Will Smith in comedy clubs and theaters.”

Related: Ariana DeBose, Mitch McConnell and The Power of the Dog: The queerest Oscar moments

The Will Smith-Chris Rock altercation dominated headlines around this year’s Oscars, overshadowing many queer moments. In case you missed them, let’s not forget hosts Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall making a joke about Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill.

“We´re going to have a great night tonight,” said Sykes. “And for you people in Florida, we´re going to have a gay night.” Co-hosts Schumer and Hall then said “gay” multiple times.

West Side Story star Ariana DeBose became the first out, LGBTQ woman of color to win an acting Oscar. In her acceptance speech, she told anyone who had ever questioned their identity to never forget, “there is a place for us.”

Jessica Chastain won ‘Best Lead Actress’ for The Eyes of Tammy Faye and also acknowledged anti-LGBTQ legislation being passed in some states at the moment.

Finally, Elliot Page was one of many looking super-dapper at the event.


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