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Will Smith vs Chris Rock is a story told in one perfect photograph

The image is so captivating, it looks, ironically, like a still from a movie, writes David Harding

Tuesday 29 March 2022 21:30 BST
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Will Smith slapping Chris Rock in public was always going to be a major story
Will Smith slapping Chris Rock in public was always going to be a major story (AFP/Getty)

Despite the thousands of words, discussions and takes on the Will Smith and Chris Rock slap, one crucial role may have been overlooked – that of the photographers.

Smith slapping Rock in public was always going to be a major story, despite its ultimate triviality. The fact that Smith inexplicably chose to lash out at the world’s most famous awards ceremony multiplied the story’s impact a hundredfold. Even at such a grim moment for world news, the story was massive, and rightly so, despite some sniffiness that it did not merit the importance it was given at a time of war.

Regardless, Smith and Rock is a story people will talk about and reference for some time. It may even end up defining Smith’s career, an asterisk of shame against all his achievements.

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