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The Slap: Why are we still talking about Will Smith's Oscars assault?

Will Smith, Chris Rock
Chris Pizzello/Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP
Actor Will Smith, right, slaps comedian Chris Rock as Rock was about to present the Oscar for best documentary feature at the Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday, March 27, 2022 in Los Angeles. The incident, triggered by Rock's on-stage joke about Smith's wife Jada's appearance, has fueled debate about appropriate ways for Black men to publicly defend Black women against humiliation or abuse. (AP Photo by Chris Pizzello, File)

"I’m not going to talk about it. I’m going to be clear up top: I’ve talked about it enough. I kept talking about it. I kept thinking about it. I don’t want to talk about it, and you can’t make me talk about it...
But I have a question…Do you want to talk about?..."
— the comedian and actor Jerrod Carmichael, in his monologue last week on Saturday Night Live.

“The Slap” as it’s come to be known, happened nearly two weeks ago, and we have not yet discussed it here on Midday. There is plenty of other news to ponder, and there have been plenty of people jumping in to talk about what should happen to Will Smith, how Chris Rock handled the situation, and what the Academy coulda and shoulda done in the moment, and since. Members of the Academy board are meeting in Los Angeles at this hour (on 4/08/22) to discuss disciplinary measures against Mr. Smith.

We’re going to jump in now.

Joining Tom to talk it over is Dr. Theopia Jackson. She is the immediate past president of the Association of Black Psychologists. She connects with us on Zoom.

And Ann Hornaday is a film critic for The Washington Post. She joins us on our digital line.

Dr. Theopia Jackson (left) is a psychologist and a past president of the Association of Black Psychologists; Ann Hornaday is an author and a film critic at the Washington Post. (Courtesy photos)

Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Malarie is Midday's Supervisory Producer.
Rob is Midday's senior producer.