If you haven’t made the social media rounds yet today, let us give you a brief rundown: Will Smith publicly defended his wife Jada Pinkett Smith against a joke from Chris Rock in the slap heard ’round the world at last night’s Oscars. That’s right. When Rock made a “G.I. Jane” quip in reference to Pinkett’s short haircut — which is a result of her longtime struggle with a hair loss condition called alopecia — Smith took the stage and delivered a swift-but-powerful smack straight to Rock’s cheek in a seemingly-unscripted moment that stunned … well, literally everyone.
Pinkett Smith has been candid about her alopecia since first sharing the news of her diagnosis back in 2018, and outspoken about the condition in hopes of raising awareness — and acceptance.
After the incident at the Oscars, Jaden Smith took to Twitter in a show of support for both his parents with a simple message:
And That’s How We Do It
— Jaden (@jaden) March 28, 2022
This comes as no surprise, of course, since the Smith family is notoriously tight-knit and have stood up for one another’s choices on multiple occasions. Of Jaden, specifically his controversial decision to model women’s clothing for Louis Vuitton in 2016, Will Smith told BBC Radio 1Xtra: “Jaden is 100 percent fearless, he will do anything. As a parent it’s scary, it’s really terrifying, but he is completely willing to live and die by his artistic decisions and he doesn’t concern himself with what people think.”
The same year, Smith opened up to BET about his parenting philosophies, which included being supportive of his kids no matter what. “I feel that the greatest gift that I can give my children is the freedom to be who they are,” he said. “Jada and I are very serious about finding what they are, and encouraging them to be what they are because you can never be happy being what you’re not.”
After Jaden’s initial Oscar-night tweet, per People, he posted — and then deleted — a second tweet saying, “My dad’s speech made me cry.” He was referring to Smith’s Oscar acceptance speech, in which the winner compared himself to his 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. But love will make you do crazy things.”
Smith also issued a tearful apology, notably omitting Rock as he said, “I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees.”
Whether you think Will Smith was justified in his reaction to Rock’s joke, or that his response was totally off the rails, one thing is clear: when it comes to his family, they’ll always have each other’s backs.
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