Lincoln actor, and voice of The Cube, Colin McFarlane has said his “jaw is still on the floor” after seeing Will Smith slap comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars.
Will’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia and Chris Rock made a joke saying “Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2”. It refers to the 1997 film GI Jane, in which Demi Moore played the title role with a severe buzzcut.
The Men in Black, I Am Legend and Fresh Prince of Bel Air star then walked on stage and appeared to hit Rock before returning to his seat and shouting “keep my wife’s name out of your fu**ing mouth”, with Rock saying “Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of me”.
He later apologised during an emotional acceptance speech after winning ‘Best Actor’ for King Richard where he played the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams. It was the first Oscar of his career, 20 years after his first nomination.
His actions have divided opinion on social media with some saying they would have done the same, but others think he overreacted. There was also a suggestion the incident may have been staged as viewership of the prestigious awards show has dipped in recent years.
Lincoln actor Colin McFarlane said: “Omg! Well I avoided my phone, recorded The Academy [Oscar] awards on Sky as I have to be awake to audition today [March 28] and just finished watching it ‘as live’.
“My jaw is still on the floor after what I saw Will Smith do to Chris Rock. I love Will but that overshadowed the whole event.”
Labour City of Lincoln councillor Rosanne Kirk, who will takeover as Mayor in May, said: “Both Chris Rock and Will Smith were wrong and it is a shame that this behaviour has distracted from the wonderful films and creativity that #Oscars are meant to be about.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organises the Oscars, said: “The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight [Sunday] we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Award winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.”
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) later reportedly said that Rock had “declined to file a police report” following the incident.
What a thing to wake up to. Only the fifth black man in nearly 100 years to win an Oscar for male lead, and the first in 16 years, resorts to violence instead of utilising the power of words to slay Chris Rock. Then he claims God and Love made him do it. https://t.co/yz218cZOIu
— Bernardine Evaristo (@BernardineEvari) March 28, 2022
Both Chris Rock and Will Smith were wrong and it is a shame that this behaviour has distracted from the wonderful films and creativity that #Oscars are meant to be about.
— Rosie (@Rosiecosy) March 28, 2022