Judd Apatow sparks backlash over comment about Will Smith hitting Chris Rock at the Oscars

‘That was 100 per cent the greatest overreaction of all time,’ wrote one person of the director’s response

Peony Hirwani
Monday 28 March 2022 08:17 BST
Will Smith hits Chris Rock at the Oscars

Support truly
independent journalism

Our mission is to deliver unbiased, fact-based reporting that holds power to account and exposes the truth.

Whether $5 or $50, every contribution counts.

Support us to deliver journalism without an agenda.

Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

Editor

Judd Apatow is receiving a backlash over his now-deleted comment about Will Smith hitting Chris Rock at the Oscars ceremony on Sunday (27 March).

Rock was presenting the award for Best Documentary when he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s appearance.

“Jada, I love you. GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see you,” he quipped in an apparent reference to the actor’s shaved head.

Smith then walked onstage and struck the comedian, yelling “keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth”.

The King Richard star later won the Best Actor award, and delivered a tearful speech in which he apologised to the Academy and his fellow actors – but notably not to Rock.

Soon after the shocking events unfolded, Apatow posted a comment about Smith’s reaction on Twitter, writing: “He (Smith) could have killed him. That’s pure out of control rage and violence.

“They’ve heard a million jokes about them in the last three decades. They are not freshman in the world of Hollywood and comedy. He lost his mind.”

In the comments section, author, professor and social commentator Roxanne Day called Apatow out for his remark, tweeting in response: “This is a wild thing to say Judd. As a fan, I urge you to really rethink this. It was not uncontrolled violence. The video is widely available so you know this.”

Many other fans also called out Apatow for posting and then deleting his comment.

“Judd Apatow deleted that tweet when his last remark came up. Next time, mind your miracle whip a** business,” one person wrote.

Apple TV+ logo

Watch Apple TV+ free for 7 days

New subscribers only. £8.99/mo. after free trial. Plan auto-renews until cancelled

Try for free
Apple TV+ logo

Watch Apple TV+ free for 7 days

New subscribers only. £8.99/mo. after free trial. Plan auto-renews until cancelled

Try for free

Another person added: “I think Judd Apatow deleted his tweet but that was 100 per cent the greatest overreaction of all time.”

“Of course, @JuddApatow deleted his take when he found out it wasn’t a popular one,” another person wrote. “When keeping it woke goes wrong. It’s hard to tell these days what path is the most progressive. Best to just wait and see what the popular opinion is.”

The Independent has contacted Apatow’s representative for comment.

The Knocked Up filmmaker has since clarified his opinion on the incident and his deleted tweets.

“I actually haven’t watched it in the context of the show. I’ve seen the clips,” Apatow said in his explanation.

Earlier in the ceremony, Regina Hall – who was hosting the ceremony alongside Schumer and Wanda Sykes – poked fun at Smith and Pinkett Smith’s marriage.

Find the full list of 2022 Oscar winners here. See the latest updates and reactions from the dramatic ceremony here, and read about the biggest talking points here.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in