Poll: 2 in 3 think Will Smith should be charged for slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars

  • StudyFinds.com survey shows that while 66 percent say Smith should be arrested, 62 percent think the slap was justified

  • Was it real? 58 percent believe incident was staged

NEW YORK — Will Smith’s slap across the face of comedian Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars will sadly live on forever as one of the most unforgettable moments in Academy Awards history. After Rock mocked the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia, Smith’s shocking response spoiled what would have otherwise been perhaps the pinnacle of his storied career. Fans and celebrities alike have been quite vocal about the incident, with many taking sides in the spat between the two Hollywood heavyweights. Now, a new StudyFinds.com poll shows that two in three Americans think Smith should be actually be charged for his admittedly violent reaction.

That’s not to say that most people are taking Rock’s side either. More than three quarters (76.5 percent) feel that making fun of Pinkett Smith was inappropriate. Interestingly, nearly half of men (48 percent) think the joke was uncalled for, compared to 38 percent of women.

The survey of 1,003 adults, conducted by OnePoll, took place hours before Smith publicly apologized to Rock on social media Monday. Smith, named Best Actor for his portrayal of Richard Williams in the movie “King Richard,” wrote on Instagram that he couldn’t handle hearing his wife insulted.

Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. 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,” Smith wrote. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, 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. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”

The actor went on to apologize to his fans, the Academy, and the family of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams.

Book him, maybe?

But will the apology be enough to change the minds of those calling for criminal charges? In the StudyFinds.com poll, respondents were asked whether or not they agreed that Smith should be charged by the LAPD with assault for the incident. Two-thirds at least “somewhat” agree that charges are necessary, including 36 percent who “strongly” agree. Conversely, 14 percent disagree, while about 21 percent weren’t sure.

Here’s where things get a bit weird, leaving us scratching our heads. While so many respondents feel Smith should be booked for assault, nearly just as many agree that his behavior was justified! In all, 62.2 percent of respondents at least somewhat felt that the actor had good reason for gettin’ slappy with it. Once again, 36 percent strongly agree, and just 14 percent either somewhat or strongly disagree.

And when asked whether or not they think the whole thing was staged, 30 percent strongly believe it was and another 28 percent are “somewhat” convinced it was all scripted. One in five respondents (21 percent) say they’re not sure, while 21.5 percent think it’s real. Again, this took place before Smith’s apology, which could have swayed more folks to feel confident it wasn’t a hoax.

How Americans view Will Smith and Chris Rock after the Oscars’ slap

As for how the slap-seen-round-the-world impacted the way people view the two men, it’s clear Americans are…confused? We asked if respondents had a more favorable or less favorable perception of each star. Strangely enough, 57 percent say they see Will Smith in a more favorable light, and 60 percent feel the same way about Chris Rock. Similarly, 27 percent haven’t changed their opinion of Smith, versus 30 percent of respondents when it comes to Rock.

On the other hand, just 16 percent have a more negative perception of Smith now, compared to 10 percent for Rock.

So apparently most people want to see Will Smith charged, but also think he was justified and like him more now. Oh, and 58 percent of respondents also think he should be banned from the Oscars for good (just 18 percent disagree). Yeah, we don’t get it either.

As for what happens moving forward, it seems that sleeping on it led Smith to release his apology. We haven’t yet heard from Rock, but we hope cooler heads will prevail and this whole wild incident will be water under the bridge for Rock, and the Smith family. The last thing this country needs right now is one more seemingly irreparable dose of anger and divisiveness.

Video Summary: Should Will Smith go to jail? We asked 1,003 people.

Comments

  1. Jim Carrey said it perfectly he was not provoked Chris is a comedian. Will has issues and should learn to control himself better. It did seem a bit staged as if Will was looking to be acknowledged for his recent role, trying to act out as the character he played in his recent movie…. He should not have been allowed to receive his award.

        1. The ratings would have spiked so an event like this is good for business.
          I reckon Chris Rock just isn’t funny so I don’t care that he got slapped. More importantly, Will should have used a closed fist and punched him hard!

      1. I agree with V.D. comment: Will Smith needs to be taken down a dozen pegs.

        He needs to be humiliated.

        Charge him.

    1. All will smith movies and tv sitcoms
      should be pulled. He has no problem making the cash but when you got to payback through some comic jokes
      I mean comon look at the old school
      Dean Martin roasts. Who does he think he is ? Put him with Kevin spacey

      1. Why do people think that people should be blackballed, and have their entire lives ruined for thinks? The justice system has prescribed penalties for crimes. The court of public opinion shouldn’t be able to destroy a person with no trial or anything. It’s silly, cut it out.

      2. yes……but Smith literally gave license to every young emotional 15 to 25 year old to pull the trigger……don’t think …..reevaluate…..JUST FIRE!!!!!…..WEILL SMITH IS WRONG….

    2. Assault is assault no matter who you are. If he isn’t charged, it sets a new standard for what is okay. Certainly don’t chase our comedians off stages fearing their lives – life will be hell for sure.

    3. He does not deserve any awards after his cowardly actions towards a comedian that meant no offense to him. The Academy Awards need to revoke his award and ban him from receiving any future rewards. No one wants violence in what should’ve been a happy place. He needs to be charged with assault! What a scum bag!

    4. Look-Do you remember the famous Don Rickels (Mr. Warmth). His comedic shtick was about insulting people or making fun of people. When Jerry Seinfeld used to interview other comedians on his show “Comedians In Cars Getting Coffee”, so many of them said a comedian takes his comedy right to the line of acceptability. Every once in a while a comedian crosses the line and it becomes a joke in poor taste. Does that man a comedian needs to stop telling jokes? Thats the only way a comedian can stay sharp and relevant. When Chris Mcpharlane sang his song as an Oscar host about woman’s boob’s there were some unhappy A-lister celebrity women in the audience. Did you see them come up and beat up on Mcpharlane? No. This is part of the game. If Will cannot take comedic abuse as an A-list celebrity, he should not be at that type of event. Will Smith acted like a pathetic 2 year old!!

    5. Before speaking Jim Carrey worst about yourself and your problems. Don’t forget about people believing you kill your girlfriend.

    6. What happened with Will Smith was, to say the least, just plain unfortunate. Chris handled the situation with class. I doubt very much he knew of Jada’s medical condition. My respect for him has grown. As far as Will is concerned, here is a man who for 3 decades has given the world joy and laughter. He is, obviously, going through something extremely dark and deep. Let’s stand behind both men at this time. Let’s all take the high road.

    7. Will Smith should be charged with a crime. Millions of people watched it and for him not to be charged sets a precedence for anyone else because they can reference back to this and say….Will Smith didn’t get charged. This is not in Chris Rock’s court. If he wants to forgive him fine, but the Academy should charge him with a crime. The comedians were 2 blk 1 wht. The show was run by blacks. Beyonce who is black was the songtress. Blacks won awards so this was largely a black show. When you have a display of anger like this it teaches particularly young black people but all young people, that it’s ok to do this. It’s not OK and Will Smith is NOT special! He did a criminal act and needs to pay for what he did and follow up with mandatory anger management therapy.

    8. I agree. Oprah will be out to defend him shortly. If you want to be treated with class you need to act with class and that has no skin color.

    9. What Will Smith did was unacceptable. Violence was not the right thing to do. Will Smith should be charged for his actions. I will never see him the same again. No more awards for him.

    10. Smith is an example of what over indulgent egomania creates. He has been over paid, over indulged for years. Sad to say the same of his wife. While I feel for her condition I feel nothing for egos. She was vocal in trashing the Oscars when Smith did NOT get a nod either. I did not forget this. These two are suffering from the over privilege of wealth and their egos have not been checked at the door.
      I think the entertainment industry over pays these people and awards are just about money and egos and perhaps ALL OF THESE awards need to end.

      People need to learn to be human not walking egos

        1. That is why NOTHING gets any better. Making excuses for bad behavior and not holding people accountable isn’t based on color. I think when they announced Will Smith as best actor, someone should have went to the mic and said I accept this award for Will Smith and walked over to his table and hand it to him and NOT allow another word out of his mouth at a televised event.

  2. Wow, that many people have no idea what the difference between assault and battery are, including the author.

    1. Smith should be charged with assault, but I’m content to leave it up to Chris Rock.

      Smith is mentally ill, and he will never be employed as an actor again.

      1. What proof do you have that he’s mentally ill? Are you even qualified to judge his mental condition. You do know your comment is libelous and is a far greater crime than being a slap? What’s your contact information so the police can track you down?

        1. “Will Smith will not tolerate other men making jokes about his wife. He will however tolerate other men having sex with his wife…”

          1. Ouch…but True. I believe he unleashed his anger on Chris Rock instead of Jada’s boy toy …..or could be he thought smacking Chris Rock is what Tupac would have done….

          2. “keep my wife’s name out of your f – – – ing mouth!” ….any other part of her you want to get your mouth around – have at it………..

        2. Crazy world we are living in is when an opinion from someone who witnesses an assault should be arrested while the man who commits a crime on live TV and nothing is done. I also think he has mental issues. The proof is in his actions. Mr. tough guy ( The coward from So. Philly) couldn’t have picked a more cowardly way to act tough walks up to a man who is much smaller in stature and has his hands behind his back gets Slapped hard enough to cause a concussion. So I hope justice is done and Mr. Tough guy gets arrested and pays the price

  3. Rules for them, rules for us. What would the result be if a homeless person had stumbled on stage to slap chris rock? Ya, think about it. Don’t kid yourselves, your hollywood leaders don[‘t live by the same rules….

    1. Jada publicly said she loved her bald head! Whether or Rock knew about her underlying condition is irrelevant. Rock was roasting. That was my his job. What if Rock would have made a roasting joke about Jada screwing their son’s friend in their by house?

  4. A non-celebrity gets charged. He can then argue his defense with the authorities, the court or in front of a jury of his or her peers.

  5. If this headline is accurate, then 2 out of 3 people need to have their heads examined and learn to be a bit more forgiving. I’d be willing to bet a week doesn’t go by where everyone commits an offense. Smith shouldn’t have slapped Rock. Rock should not have made such a distasteful joke. Rock wasn’t injured. He spoke back immediately to Smith. What Rock did caused far more harm.

    1. Words are so much more hurtful than a slap in the face. Limited emotional coping tools to deal with the slings and arrows of human interaction should be praised, I suppose, Smith didn’t go ‘drive by’ on Rock.

  6. Assuming that this was real and not an act…. I think you have to charge him. Because you can’t have people attacking comics simply because you don’t like their jokes.
    That said…. I understand him defending his wife. Both things can be true. I could see me risking legal trouble to defend my wife in a similar situation.

  7. I nominate him for president of Black Lives Matter and a Nobel Peace prize. A person with low impulse control and limited social skills; an instant resort to violence is, in some circles, a badge of honor.

  8. Chris Rock deserved the slap. He had no right to comment on Jada Smith’s lack of hair. It was embarrassing for Jada Smith. Chris rock was out of place hosting the award ceremony. He pointed fingers at someone with a medical issue. Shame on him. Mental abuse was thrown in the face of a lovely lady!

    1. I doubt Chris Rock knew of Jada’s condition. The whole world doesn’t follow the Smith family. Will was wrong and I believe he knows he was wrong. He’s got to be feeling the pain of his actions right now. He got himself into quite a mess.

  9. Will Smith did nothing wrong.

    Chris Rock was being complete jerk to his wife and got the taste slapped out his mouth for it. HE deserved it.

    Will Smith was defending his wife and if there is anything you learn it’s not to insult or go after another man’s wife/girl/daughter. I’ve seen guys beat the holy hell out of someone for less.

      1. Agreed. Chris deserved the bitch slap. Wife jokes are not appropriate at the Academy Awards. (And I love Chris Rock!)

  10. Wouldn’t resorting to physical violence on any level based upon words being said be justified?? That’s what this says to me! Domestic violence also most likely comes into play stemming from words being said. We don’t condone it in that setting, so why should we turn a blind eye here? Not to mention this isn’t a, ‘he said/ he said’ moment! The whole world witnessed someone not being able to take a joke and act physically. Chris Rock is a proven comedian. He does jokes! Can’t we still laugh at words? “Oh well, he disrespected her”? Every joke ever said probably has disrespected someone!

    1. Assault is a verbal or physical threat of harming another. Battery occurs when either a person causes bodily harm to another or intentionally makes physical contact against the other person’s will.

  11. What happened to this country? Everyone wants the death sentence for everything. The guy snapped, acted like an ahole and slapped Rock. Have some compassion and empathy.

  12. “Will Smith will not tolerate other men making jokes about his wife. He will however tolerate other men “sleeping” with his wife…”

  13. Will Smith is a role model who failed miserably. He should be arrested, he should be required to return his award from the Academy and he should be blackballed from future Academy events. There is no excuse for this behavior from one of society’s most privileged. Period, no excuses permitted!!!

  14. Will started to laugh when Chris made the joke then looked at his wife who was frowning then got up and attacked Chris. What does that tell you?

  15. What about My own criminal charges for a “slap”? I will probably be charged and face jail time in my upcoming trial however now I have precedent referal.

  16. As a feminist, the notion of a man fighting on a woman’s behalf is antiquated. Grow up. It’s 2022. The woman is strong enough to take care of the matter without being dominated by the men. And I am male.

  17. Chris rock only thinks himself funny. I have all ways seen him as a jerk. I applaud Will Smith. However it should not have been a slap. He should have knock his teeth out. Do not ever ask rock to be the MC ever again.

  18. Will Smith stood up for his woman, who was clearly horrified by Rock’s so-called jokes. I respect him for that.

  19. If he had assaulted Wanda Sykes instead of Chris Rock, what would have happened? Because he hit a man, there’s a debate over whether he should have been removed and arrested?

    He should have been hauled out the minute it happened. They should have stopped the show, went to music or a commercial, and removed him. And he should never be invited back.

  20. “I reacted emotionally,” Smith wrote. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, 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. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.””

    I will quote the great philosopher and actor Will Smith:

    “I’m sorry, I’m allergic to bullshit.”

  21. When Chris Rock told the “joke” regarding Jada, Will immediately laughed. It was apparent that Jada did not find the joke funny. Then realizing that he has to make amends to Jada for laughing at the joke, he walks up to the stage and strikes Chris Rock. He then strides back to the table where he and Jada were sitting and proceeds to start using profanity. Chris Rock took the high road and proceeded to make his presentation. While the camera was on Chris, Will Smith should have been removed from the room. When his name was announced for winning the award for Best Actor, someone else could have “accepted” for him. He should not have been allowed to remain at the event. Will Smith obviously feels that he can do what he wants, whenever he wants and to whomever he wants without consequences. I feel that his actions during the Oscars was disgraceful. This many is in his fifties. He’s not a child nor a novice to the industry. To try to compare himself to Richard Williams was an insult to Mr. Williams. Will Smith showed his true colors. His apology was only submitted the following day when he realized he was not being hailed as a hero for his actions. There were so many positives happening that night showing diversity, acceptance and acknowledgment of true talent. Will Smith has shown at least 200 countries what an ass=hole, he truly is.

  22. Ok, admittedly I’ve had a lot to drink and it’s very late and I’m blue collar and worked a 12 hour shift today so my intelligence level is low to begin with plus the mitigating factors may leave me suspect but….
    Is the math off in this article? 76.5% of people surveyed find Rock was inappropriate with his joke. But then it lists 48 percent of men and 38 percent of women surveyed found the joke uncalled for. If less than half the men and less then half the women think that then how is it more than half of them combined (76.5%) think the same?!? Again, admittedly, I’m not smart so I’ll need a Kamala here.
    Oh and by the way 100% of data analysts say that 75% of reported data can be manipulated by the way that 50% of the questions are asked resulting in 25% of the responses being 50-75% in error leading to a big fat nothing in this survey who is even still reading this comment?

    1. If Will Smith is not officially charged for his conduct, it’ll leave the door open for future assaults against comedians in any public event, a joke is a joke if you don’t like just stand up and leave, it’s a matter of fact in the video he was laughing at the first place then he turned and looked to Jada then reacted, the true is I don’t have any respect for him anymore, after all his actions about the August Alsina “Entanglement” with Jada, and now this disgraceful public behavior at this event, the world have seen an asshole in action I think his Oscar should be revoke.

  23. Will Smith is a total thug, and all those scumbags that gave him a standing ovation need to be slapped twice over. Arrest that POS and take away that Oscar too. What a total scumbag. Anyone bigger than Chris Rock and that little bitch would have stayed inches chair fuming. Punk!

  24. Will Smith was in the right, Jada Pinkett Smith was publicly embarrassed by Chris Rock in front of viewers, in the audience, and on live TV. Will Smith had the courage to defend his wife’s honor by returning the embarrassment to Chris Rock. I applaud Will Smith for defending his wife. Will Smith should not lose his award, nor be reamended. Will Smith worked hard to earn his academy award. Don’t take this away from him. Thank you, Will Smith, for being there for your wife and protecting her. This is a husband’s true love for his wife. As for Chris Rock, you may be a comedian, however, be more cautious speaking about people’s families. Will Smith, you don’t need to apologize to anyone, stand your ground!!

  25. Will Smith was just wrong, period. He and the network deserve to be sued by Chris Rock for Workers Compensation and everything that Will Smith owns.

  26. The entire episode was staged. Chris Rock is a comedian, but also an actor, knows how to follow a script. Absolutely no move to defend himself, run, get out of the way…. NOTHING. This is no different than someone assaulted in a movie, it’s scripted, practiced, and agreed upon prior.
    Hollywood is dying, (ANYTHING for attention), what you’re seeing is the death throes.
    Remember… even with “the slap” it was the 2nd worst rated Oscars in history.

  27. Where’s the block to vote – People who wasted their time to watch the whole Oscar Show should be slapped? Watching for hours a bunch of overly paid ego’s of high school drama students parade around slapping each other on the back and telling each other how the world needs them. In my life I’ve needed doctors, dentists, auto mechanics, store clerks & tow truck drivers but I’ve never needed one Hollowood actor’s advice on any topic.

  28. Chris Rock did not insult Will’s wife, in fact, it seemed more like a compliment. Demi Moore was absolutely beautiful with her shaven head in GI Jane and Jada should have taken that as compliment that he thought she could be GI Jane 2. Chris Rock was not insulting her in any way. In fact, Will thought it was funny until he saw the look on his wife’s face and the rolling of her eyes, then, and only then, he felt like he had to be the macho man and defend his woman, what an idiot. He showed absolutely no class and made an ass out of himself. He should have been escorted out, arrested for public violence, that would send a message that that behavior will not be tolerated, no matter who you are (or who you think you are).

  29. I don’t know. I mean Chris Rock didn’t even know she had alopecia. I didn’t either. The offenses are not equal at all. I don’t know about charged but I think it’s more like 4 out 5 feel Will Smith was in the wrong

  30. Totally fake. They are actors you know. I can’t imagine that anyone with an IQ larger than their shoe size would watch this farce called The Oscars where a bunch of egotistical morally bankrupt morons gather to pat themselves on the back, or give a flying big “F” what these people say or do.

  31. I think Chris Rock should apologize!!! I suffer from alopecia and have often felt like slapping the crap out of somebody for their comments. Whether he knew it or not for a most women their crowning glory is their hair. From what I read, he has spoken to other women with this condition and was well aware of how it can traumatize. Yes, you get to a point where enough is enough and Chris should apologize to Jada and Will.

  32. Will Smith should go to jail, lose the oscar, and no longer be allowed at the Oscars. Worst jokes have been given at previous Oscars, it comes with the territory. No one should ever assault another individual. If this goes unpunished I will never watch the Oscars again.

  33. Will needs to be punished. He should be perhaps given the choice of either donate $1,000,000.
    to a charity dealing with the homeless or his membership in the Academy being suspended for 10 years.
    Jorge S

  34. Sorry! Will Smith has been insulting different people for many years. He cannot jump up when someone does the same thing to him. He can RESPOND he cannot slap someone in their face. He is a hateful person and that was on full display.

  35. Zero Tolerance….Shame on the Academy Picture Arts and Science for not immediately enforcing their code of standards.

  36. you and.me would have been arrested…no excuse for that abuse on Tv.that our kids got to witness and we had toexplain…shame on you Will Smith…will never view anynof yours again…ever

  37. I will never go see another Will Smith movie. His Oscar should be taken away and I hope he is blackballed by Hollywood!

    1. If Will Smith is not officially charged for his conduct, it’ll leave the door open for future assaults against comedians in any public event, a joke is a joke if you don’t like just stand up and leave, it’s a matter of fact in the video he was laughing at the first place then he turned and looked to Jada then reacted, the true is I don’t have any respect for him anymore, after all his actions about the August Alsina “Entanglement” with Jada, and now this disgraceful public behavior at this event, the world have seen an asshole in action I think his Oscar should be revoke.

  38. Rock mocked Jada? That’s a crock.

    Alopecia, or no alopecia, Jada is currently sporting a Rock-ing hairdo. Sinead O’Connor rocked it, and yes, Demi Moore rocked it in GI Jane, which was a very successful movie. Jada is a movie actress, and she looked incredible at The Oscars. Rock saying he can’t wait to see Jada take over the GI Jane role in GI Jane 2 is not mocking, and for goodness sake, it is not an “assault.” It is a mild joke, which might be argued was slightly distasteful, but in the pantheon of distasteful jokes throughout history, it just doesn’t rank. Will is stained forever, I will never watch, or listen to a single thing the thug does moving forward.

  39. I have a different perspective then most people!

    I think Chris Rock should be the one apologizing to Will Smith and Jada ! Not the other way around!

    He publicly humiliated Jada P.Smith
    In front of 5 million people around the world…..because she has a condition?
    He is the one who was out of line!

    How do you think this is going to affect HER reputation making her condition so public? It was disrespect!

    Will Smith was defending his wife’s HONOR and I thought it was Chivalrous!

  40. Will Smith should be banned from everything. No assault is justified because of words especially a joke at an entertainment show. Jail time might bring him to reality.

  41. I agree with Jim Carrey, he said it perfectly. Will Smith should be charged. It is not up to Chris Rock whether to make the call. Will Smith should have been escorted out and should not have been able to receive the award. If anyone else would’ve done what he did they would’ve been escorted out. There should not be any well…..let’s take a poll, or play politics, everyone has consequences. There was pure anger and hatred. What is America coming to? It’s okay to do this. What are you opening the door for more violence? Jada is a strong beautiful woman. Chris is a comedian. There is no justification for physical violence. Will did not like what was only AFTER his saw his wife made a disapproval look. Other than that he was laughing. IT WAS A JOKE everyone. There is no Defending needed. And if you feel you need to defend your wife regarding a joke than joke back!
    Enjoy Life everyone and sometimes, just sometimes we have to laugh at ourselves.

  42. I think it was done without as much bad intent as we think. Perhaps a rematch with Chris getting to land a good one on Will? Really, I think too much has been made of this match.

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