Black Faith Leaders Respond to Will Smith's Infamous Academy Awards Slap

Will and Jada Pinkett Smith arrive at the Oscars 2022 Sunday night.
Will and Jada Pinkett Smith arrive at the Oscars 2022 Sunday night. (YouTube/ABC)
Several Black pastors and authors across the country are responding to the scene that played out on global television Sunday night when actor Will Smith stepped up on the Academy Awards stage and smacked comedian Chris Rock.

As CBN's Faithwire reported, the unfortunate moment unfolded after Rock joked about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who has a shaved head due to struggles with alopecia.

"Jada, I love you," Rock said on the stage. "GI Jane 2, can't wait to see you."

While laughs and giggles followed, Pinkett Smith looked unamused, and Smith started walking up on the stage and toward Rock. That's when he assaulted the comedian and walked back to his seat.

Smith also reportedly yelled from his chair after hitting Rock, telling the comedian, "Keep my wife's name out of your (expletive) mouth."

While some have defended Smith, saying he was right to defend his wife, others have said he should not have resorted to violence. Several pastors took to social media to respond to the incident.

John Onwuchekwa, the teaching pastor at the Cornerstone Church in Atlanta, Georgia, tweeted: "What Will Smith did last night was totally inexcusable AND completely understandable. I think those roads intersect. I'm surprised at how many takes make it seem like we have to pick a side. Maybe that's a product of the polarized age we live in. There's a lot to unpack."

Dr. A.R. Bernard tweeted, "Last night we saw the conflict between the higher and lower self, play out on international television #WillSmith. At our highest moments in life, we are most vulnerable."

Bernard also tweeted a verse from the Bible's Old Testament.

"A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger" (Prov. 15:1).

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Reprinted with permission from Copyright © 2022 The Christian Broadcasting Network Inc. All rights reserved.

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