#PopVultures Podcast: Will Smith and Chris Rock: Unpacking that shocking Oscars slap

Will Smith hits at Chris Rock on stage during the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, on March 27, 2022. PHOTO: AFP

Synopsis: The Straits Times examines the ins and outs of pop culture in the Asian entertainment and Hollywood scene.

The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, took place over last weekend in Los Angeles, Hollywood and despite historic wins and a Beyonce performance, all anyone can talk about since is The Slap. The night's Best Actor winner Will Smith marched on stage to slap comedian Chris Rock after he made a joke at the expense of Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

#PopVultures host Jan Lee unpacks everything related to the shocking moment - sharing how it was watching the event unfold in real time and addressing baseless claims about how The Slap was staged (it's not). Jan also sheds some light on the online discourse surrounding Will Smith and his marriage prior to the Oscars, and discusses issues that The Slap has brought up.

Highlights (tap/click above):

00:53 An introduction and recap of The Slap, including the immediate online reaction and the subsequent fallout

12:28 Why there is no way The Slap was a staged publicity stunt

19:40 Context on Will Smith, his marriage and the Smiths' history with Chris Rock

26:12 How The Slap has surfaced complicated and nuanced issues relating to comedy, toxic masculinity, race and the Academy's own troubled history

35:01 Final thoughts - how this incident marred the entire Oscars night

Produced by Jan Lee (janlee@sph.com.sg), Teo Tong Kai, Paxton Pang and Eden Soh

Edited by: Teo Tong Kai

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