The entire world is still in shock after watching Will Smith walk on the stage at the 94th Academy Awards on March 27, and smack Chris Rock in the face, after the comedian joked about seeing Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, in a possible “G.I. Jane 2.” Jada suffers from alopecia, which attacks hair follicles resulting in bald spots and hair loss. When Smith sat back down, he yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f****** mouth” at Rock. A source told People that Smith was still angry about Rock’s joke about Jada at the Oscars in 2016. “When Chris hosted the Oscars in 2016, Jada was boycotting because of #OscarsSoWhite. In his opening monologue, he made fun of her, saying she can’t boycott something she wasn’t invited to,” explained the insider. Chris said, “Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.” Meanwhile, following the slap, Bradley Cooper, Tyler Perry and Denzel Washington could all be seen talking to Will. The shocking incident didn’t stop Will from celebrating his win for Best Actor for his role as Venus and Serena Williams’ father, Richard Williams, in “King Richard.” He was later spotted dancing with the Oscar statuette to “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” at the Vanity Fair Oscar party. The former “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” also posted on Instagram, “You can’t take people from Philadelphia [his hometown] and Baltimore [Jada’s hometown] anywhere,” and told sources Washington advised him, “Remember the devil calls when you are at your highest point.” Rock is not pressing charges against Smith. The comedian “declined to file a police report,” said the LAPD. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences issued a statement: “The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.” In other Oscars news, Questlove also won Best Documentary for his directorial debut of “Summer of Soul,” the Hulu film about the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival.
A much calmer Will Smith presented an award to his “King Richard” co-star Aunjanue Ellis at the 15th annual Essence Black Women in Hollywood Awards Luncheon at the Beverly Wilshire, a Four Seasons Hotel, on March 24 in Beverly Hills. Other honorees included Nia Long, Quinta Brunson and Chante Adams.
Marvel actor Anthony Mackie, who plays Sam Wilson, a Louisiana-born Air Force veteran who doubles as superhero the Falcon, recently closed a deal to purchase 20 acres on the Interstate 10 Service Road in his hometown of New Orleans. According to multiple reports, Mackie plans to create a full-fledged movie studio, called East Studios LLC, at the site as well as on adjoining land he hopes to purchase. Mackie’s newest venture could be a huge boost to revitalize New Orleans East, which has been in economic decline since the 1970s.
The American Sports Accountability Project (ASAP) released a series of radio advertisements featuring the voice of Al B. Sure! The ads echo ASAP’s calls for the NBA to hold Phoenix Suns majority owner Robert Sarver accountable for reports that he has fostered an abusive and toxic workplace environment spanning nearly two decades, including numerous accounts of racist and misogynistic language. Says Al B. Sure!: “We believe the accounts of his victims, and that hate has no home in America’s sports. It’s time for the NBA to hold Robert Sarver accountable for his shameless actions.”