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In our opaque world, there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that we may not know about for sure, but we live in a society with critical thinkers that create conspiracy theories.

On Sunday, March 27th, Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars. The reasoning behind this slap was that Rock made an insensitive joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith, Smith’s wife, and because of the joke, Smith stormed up on stage and smacked him.

Hearing about this, it seemed like a skit you would watch on SNL, but it actually happened… Or so many think. Upon further investigation by watching videos and reading articles, this is the information I’ve gathered that others use to dispute the authenticity of “the slap.”

First, as you see Smith approaching Rock, you can see Rock make adjustments to how he was standing. He knew he was getting hit and didn’t want to fall over in any type of way, so he broadened his legs out more, embracing himself for impact

Second, there have been pictures going viral of Rock having a cheek pad on, that, while USA Today asserts to be false, many still choose to believe regardless.

Photo courtesy of Gizmodo

There was also another photo where, before Smith hit him, Rock was already flinching and leaning into Smith.

Photos courtesy of Gizmodo

Now you might be asking yourself, why would they even do this? Or what are they trying to hide? Well, since 2010, the TV audience for the award show has drastically plummeted, having 41.6 million viewers in 2010, to a drop of 9.85 million viewers in 2020. Hearing about Smith, an iconic celebrity, slapping another celebrity at an awards show? I’d go straight to my TV to watch!

Skylar Payne

Hi, I am Skylar Payne, I major in Integrated Marketing and Communications and have a minor in Marketing. I am also a part of the school's Track and Field team.