Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley deleted a tweet thanking actor Will Smith for “defending his wife” after he punched comedian Chris Rock onstage at the 94th Academy Awards.
In an unprecedented moment at the Oscars, the Hollywood star took to the stage and slammed the comedian for making a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s performance.
Pinkett Smith announced last year that she shaved her head after battling alopecia. She was seen rolling her eyes as Rock quipped, “Jada I love you. GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see you,” in a nod to her performance — Demi Moore famously shaved her head for the 1997 film GI Jane.
After hitting Rock, Smith returned to his seat and yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out of your damn mouth.”
The Massachusetts congresswoman joined the ranks in a now-deleted tweet thanking Smith.
“Alopecia nation stand up! Thanks [Will Smith]. Call out to all husbands who defend their wives living with alopecia in the face of daily ignorance and insults,” she wrote, according to a screenshot of the tweet posted by Insider reporter Grace Panetta.
MP Jamaal Bowman also appeared to have deleted a tweet calling the incident a “teachable moment” to avoid “joking about a black woman’s hair”.
Democratic Representative Ritchie Torres called out Rock’s “disgusting and disgusting” joke while criticizing the attack on live television. “I found Chris Rock’s joke distasteful and disgusting. But there is no justification for a violent assault on live TV. None,” he wrote.
Smith apologized in a tearful acceptance speech after winning this year’s Best Actor Award at the Academy, but not at Rock. “I would like to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow candidates,” he said.
A video shared by The Hollywood Reporter Scott Feinberg showed Smith being comforted by Denzel Washington, Tyler Perry and Bradley Cooper, who reportedly asked him to “shake it off.”
Meanwhile, Los Angeles Police Department confirmed in a statement that Rock had declined to press charges against the actor.
“LAPD investigative authorities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program. In the incident, one person hit another. The data subject has declined to file a police report,” the statement said.
The full list of 2022 Oscar winners can be found here. Get the latest updates and reactions from the dramatic ceremony here, and read about the key talking points here.
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/ayanna-pressley-tweet-will-smith-chris-rock-b2045679.html Will Smith: Ayanna Pressley deletes tweet thanking actor for slapping Chris Rock at Oscars