at the 94th academy awards chris rock was presenting the award for best documentary feature. when rock took the stage and noticed that nobody in the audience was wearing a mask, he made a comparison to raw dog sex. he complimented denzel washington‘s performance in the movie macbeth breaking a long-standing taboo about mentioning the name macbeth in a theater.
the internet knew why chris rock got smacked
he commented on the delicate nature of javier bardem and his wife penelope cruz being nominated for best actor and best actress respectively. rock joked that bardem probably wanted will smith to win best actor to avoid the awkward scenario of him winning and cruz losing. rock then focused his attention on smith’s wife jada pinkett and made a joke about her shaved (no hair) head: jada, i love u: g.i. jane 2, can’t wait to see it.
gi jane & jada pinkett (caravan pictures/afp)
then things got crazy…
smith initially laughed at the jab. but after turning to pinkett smith and noticing her epic eye-roll at the joke, he quickly shifted gears and walked on stage to slap rock in the face. at first, everyone — rock included — thought the rouse was a bit, but it soon became clear that wasn’t the case.
jab can mean a punch or an injection, but in this case it refers to the g.i. jane joke. notice that the verbs turn and notice are used in the -ing form after the preposition after. epic means extreme. when someone moves their eyes up out of annoyance or frustration it’s called an eye-roll. e.g.>> u can see jada pinkett’s epic eye roll at :26 on the video.
chris, jada, will in 2005: man, were they friends? (frank micelotta/getty images)
shift gears means will smith’s attitude changed abruptly. slap means will smith hit chris rock with an open hand. rouse means will smith figuratively woke up or got emotional. bit is a comedy routine.
chris rock can take a punch (slap/smack). he immediately responded…
oh, wow. wow. will smith just smacked the shit out of me.
smack means hit. the shit out of me emphasizes the intensity of the smack; literally that smith hit rock so hard that rock pooped . but it’s not literal.
keep your mouth outta my mouth: that time chris rock and will smith almost kissed on the fresh prince of bel-air
it got a little weirder…
returning to his seat, smith yelled, “keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth.” rock responded, “wow, dude. it was a ‘g.i. jane’ joke.” that prompted smith to shout at a louder octave, “keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth!”
keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth was telling rock to not talk about jada pinkett anymore. out your mouth is a reduction of out of your mouth. dude is like man, used to address another person. prompt means cause.
in the madagascar movies, chris rock is the voice of marty the zebra and jada pinkett is the voice of gloria the hippo
personally, i think rock’s reaction was impressive considering the shock of the moment. he hardly moved when will smith smacked him, he never really lost his dialogue despite smith’s rant and at 1:05 he appaears to consider taking advantage of the microphone in his hand and truly insulting smith and pinkett (under his breath he says, “oh, i could go.. ok”) but instead showed restraint (self-control) and had the presence to recognize the magnitude of the confrontation. rubin provided a different perspective…
rock appeared visibly shaken on stage and struggled to collect his thoughts. “that was, uh, the greatest night in the history of television,” he offered.
shaken means unable to communicate, upset. struggle means rock had difficulty collecting his thoughts. history and story are easy for spanish speakers to confuse because they both translate as historia in spanish. the greatest night in the history of television is a good example of history, not story, because the idea is all past events related to television, not an anecdote (story).
it kinda looks like they might have been friends (getty)
the peculiarity of the moment continued to grow, when (as many expected)…
shortly after striking rock, smith was awarded the oscar for best actor for his performance as tennis coach richard williams in “king richard,” a feel-good sports drama in which he plays the father of tennis icons venus and serena williams.
shortly means soon. strike means hit, it is used here in the -ing form because it comes immediately after the preposition after. was awarded is past passive voice (auxiliary be [was] + past participle [awarded]). it is focusing on will smith receiving his award. not the academy awarding him. feel-good means it makes u happy. it’s frequently used to describe movies, like netflix describes this bad movie that chris rock is in
feel-good is also used ironically in this song by queens of the stone age. the lyrics are a list of recreational drugs
when smith gave his aceptance speech, the feel-good moment that would have happened was damaged by the recent images of smith smacking the shit out of rock…
in a tearful acceptance speech, smith apologized to the academy and his fellow best actor nominees, but he stopped short of mentioning rock. in his remarks, he also attempted to connect the altercation to his onscreen character in king richard– richard williams was a fierce defender of his family,…art imitates life. i look like the crazy father, just like they said about richard williams…in this business, u got to be able to have people disrespecting u. and u got to smile and u got to pretend like that’s okay.
tearful means full of tears i.e. smith was crying. fellow refers to the other actors nominated for best actor along with smith: javier bardem, benedict cumberbatch, andrew garfield and denzel washtington. an altercation is a loud argument. fierce is ferocious, vicious, intense. got to be able, got to smile and got to pretend are all example of a common reduction of the have got structure. u have got to is reduced to u got to. pretend means act, make believe.
it definitely feels like they might have been friends (john shearer/getty images)
the day after the ordeal (bad experience) will smith posted an apology on instagram…
i would like to publicly apologize to u, chris. i was out of line and i was wrong. i am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. jokes at my expense are part of the job, but a joke about jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and i reacted emotionally.
apologize is the verb used to express regret, say you’re sorry. apology is the equivalent noun. out of line means inappropriate. with the phrase at my expense will smith is referring to jokes about him. too much to bear means will smith couldn’t handle it.
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the english practice extra for this post has examples of raw dog (defined above), uh-oh, past modals, slap (defined above), beef, bear with me (related to too much to bear above), ever, boycott and ripoff.
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