Never before has a backhanded slap been so talked about. This Sunday, March 27, while the 94th Oscars ceremony was going well, Will Smith entered the stage to slap comedian Chris Rock, in front of a whole host of bewildered stars and a flaming Web. An altercation as violent as it was sudden, for which many are looking for an explanation: love? A difficult past? Or even none at all? Those close to the actor are wondering.
A childhood full of violence
It was the joke of the year. It was indeed after Chris Rock's mockery of Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head that Will Smith could no longer crack a smile. The scene was so improbable that the audience initially thought it was a skit orchestrated especially for the evening.
Both he and his entourage tried to find a reason for this almost epidermal reaction. Was it his ‘love’ for his wife, as the actor emphasised when apologising to the Academy and his peers, or was it a growing irritation with Chris Rock's misogynistic jokes, which have always been aimed at Jada Pinkett Smith?
For others close to him, the source of such an act is much more distant and buried. Indeed, Will Smith would have known a complicated and rough childhood, surrounded by a violent father who regularly attacked his mother. This is what the actor explains in his autobiography, Will.
A house ‘filled with anger and alcoholism’
Deep-rooted violence that a person very close to Will Smith confirms in the pages of People magazine:
He grew up in a house full of anger and alcoholism,
He confides, also insisting on the fact that Will Smith was leaving with ‘a lot of emotional baggage’. But the close source is keen to point out that despite those ‘years of ups and downs, Will is very fond of Jada and protective of his family’. He's ‘a great guy,’ they conclude.
If for some, a painful past explains this mythical slap, for others, it is only an unfortunate episode. This is at least the opinion of Will Smith's mother, who prefers to remember the hard work that the actor has always put in to receive his first Oscar, after a long and varied career.
His mother said:
This is the first time in my life I've seen him come out of his shell. And it's probably the first time for him too... I've never seen him do that before in my life,
The 53-year-old is simply ‘fair and sociable’. Far from the label of impulsive personality that one would then try to stick to him since the ceremony.
This article was translated from Oh!MyMag FR.