Houstonians weigh in after Will Smith hits Chris Rock at Oscars following joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith

HOUSTON – People across the country and Houston have plenty to say about what played out at the Oscars Sunday. Some hope the whole ordeal will open up some important conversations.

“At first, I thought that was in the script but then when I seen people standing in the crowd I was like, ‘Oh my goodness.’ I just could not believe it,” a woman named Mina Mahmud told KPRC 2 reporter Brittany Jeffers.

“A man is tasked to protect his wife at all costs, so Will did what he felt like that needed to be done,” a man named John Cody said.

“Jada, I love you, G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see you… Okay.” That is the comment Chris Rock made that started it all.

Will Smith appeared to laugh at first while his wife, actress Jada Pinkett-Smith, showed a different expression.

Smith then walked up on the stage and hit the comedian, leaving the audience and rock stunned.

Pinkett-Smith has been open about her diagnosis with alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that leads to hair loss. because of this, Mahmud said she thinks the comedian took things too far.

“I still really think there’s limits to jokes, especially alopecia, you know, and something like that, alopecia, a lot of women and a lot of Black women, they struggle with that often and for him to say something like that, it’s like a lot of women already dealing with it self-consciously,” Mahmud said.

Other Houstonians weighed in online.

KPRC 2 viewer Veronica said in part, “Good for you Will.”

A viewer named Donna said she thinks Smith should have been immediately escorted out, adding “The academy failed on this one. A hit or a slap its assault period.”

After the slap, Smith later accepted the best actor award for his role in “King Richard.” During the speech, the actor was tearful and apologized to the academy and his fellow nominees.

“I just hope the academy will welcome me back,” he said.

Cody said maybe what played out onstage will spur on some other discussion.

“Even though it’s over for Chris Rock, it’s just starting for Will and Jada because now they are going to have to talk about that, why he did what he did, what’s going on with Jada, all of that,” Cody said. “It kind of opens up a whole different door to talk about it and maybe bring some awareness.”

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