Long before the 2022 Oscar slap that was heard around the world echoed from Will Smith’s hand on Chris Rock’s cheekbone there was tension brewing between the two black entertainment stars.
2009 – Chris Rock produces Good Hair
Chris Rock’s dig at Will’s wife Jada Pickett-Smith wasn’t his first on the Oscar stage but it may very well be his last. Will and Chris’ entanglement goes back years.
2016 – Chris Rock comes for Jada during the Oscars the first time
In 2016, when the comedian was last a host for the Academy Awards he directed some jokes toward the Smiths for boycotting that year’s show over Will not being nominated for his film “Concussion” amidst the all-white #Oscarssowhite controversy.
“Jada’s mad her man Will was not nominated for ‘Concussion.'” Rock said during his monologue. “I get it. It’s not fair that Will was this good and didn’t get nominated. It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for [the 1999 film] ‘Wild Wild West.'”
In the same monologue, Rock quipped, “Jada said she’s not coming. I was like, ‘Isn’t she on a TV show?’ Jada’s gonna boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited!”
Jada Pickett-Smith was later pressed by the paparazzi about the jokes and she seemed to take it in stride saying, “Hey look, it comes with the territory, we gotta keep it moving.”
Will & Jada have built their public brand through vulnerability. From Will’s autobiography to Jada’s Red Table Talk show on Facebook we’ve been privy to the family’s dealings of entanglements and insecurity.
2018 – Jada Pinkett-Smith opens up about dealing with alopecia
In a 2018 episode of Red Table Talk, Jada opened up about her battle with alopecia, a medical condition that causes hair loss that disproportionately affects Black women. Understandably, it’s become a sensitive subject for the Smith family. Ironically, Chris Rock produced a whole ass documentary in 2009 called ‘Good Hair’ (see clip above( because he wanted Black women and girls to feel positive about their struggle with their hair. You’d think he’d know better.
2022 – Will Smith comes for Chris Rock for coming at his wife at the Oscars again
Fast forward to Rock’s tone def monologue on Sunday: “Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it, all right?”
Clearly, Rock’s joke on Sunday night crossed a line with the Smiths, which can visibly be seen in Jada’s face as she disappointingly shakes her bald head. Will can be seen laughing at first until he seemingly caught his wife’s embarrassment by a joke about her alopecia, which, I imagine, prompted Will to defend his wife’s honor and ask himself “What Would Tupac Do?” resulting in Sunday’s unfortunate events. As the memes, Monday morning think pieces, and fallout from Hollywood continues to rain down from the Internet the Smiths and Chris Rock will continue to benefit from what Rock immediately called the “Greatest night in the history of television” after receiving some fresh prints from the Fresh Prince.