The 2022 Oscars were meant to be a return to post-pandemic normality — at their traditional home at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, and a March date, following a COVID-delayed edition at Union Station in April of the previous year. It was also seen as a chance for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to celebrate the reforms it had made in the wake of the #OscarsSoWhite controversy, with a radically different line-up producing one of the nominee lists. the most varied in the history of Hollywood’s top prize.

Then came the slap. Suddenly, nothing else mattered.

Millions watched in real time Will Smith – an overwhelming favorite for his performance in ‘King Richard’ later that night – charged the stage at the Oscars to take on Chris Rock after the comedian told too many jokes about his wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith. In the process, the lead actor’s price, and just about everyone else who followed the altercation, became an afterthought.

A year later, the Slap has become more than a jaw-dropping stage at the 2022 Oscars. It’s been etched forever in the annals of popular culture, propelled by relentless debate on social media from every angle of the event. .

The Slap continues to resonate – with Smith and Rock fans, with the entertainment industry, with journalists searching for the meaning of it all, with Smith and Rock themselves. As we approach the 2023 Oscars, what is the Slap saying about America right now?

“”The Slap”: One Year Later” takes an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the moment, through the eyes of Los Angeles Times reporters covering the 2022 Oscars and cultural critics trying to make sense of Will Smith’s televised assault on Chris Rock.


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