Politics

Lupita Nyong’o had a ringside seat to Will Smith vs Chris Rock clash and reacted like all of us



Holywood actress and Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o has gone viral after having a ringside when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at last night’s ceremony. Smith hit Rock after the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada’s shaven head.

The comedian – who was on stage to introduce the Best Documentary Feature Oscar – took aim at Jada, branding her ‘GI Jane’ due to her bald appearance. Gasps soon followed, however, when Smith stormed the stage, approached Rock, and slapped him square across the face – returning to his seat and repeatedly shouting “Keep my wife’s name out your ****ing mouth!”

Former Oscar winner Nyong’o – who won Best Supporting Actress in 2014 for her role in 12 Years A Slave and who was at the 2022 ceremony to dish out the Best Costume Design gong – looked aghast as she witnessed Smith’s outbursts. Cameras captured the 39-year-old star looking incredibly uncomfortable as she sat inches away from Smith as he raged at Rock on stage.

Her response went viral, with many sharing screenshots of her stunned response on social media, with one writing “Give Lupita best supporting actress for her work tonight”. And another pointed out the star had now become “part of two iconic Oscars moments” highlighting that she was also in Ellen DeGeneres’s social media breaking selfie from the 2014 ceremony.

Smith’s reaction has split opinion with some championing him for taking a chivalrous stand to defend his wife’s honour, while others have condemned his actions as violent behaviour. The actor himself was attending Sunday night’s event where he was nominated for – and won – the Best Actor award for his role as Richard Williams in tennis biopic, King Richard. Accepting his award later in the evening, Smith tearfully said: “I want to apologise to the Academy, I want to apologise to all my fellow nominees.”





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