Actress Mila Kunis is still talking about this year’s Academy Awards, probably because it was one of the most shocking moments the show has offered in a long time. Will Smith infamously slammed host Chris Rock after he made a joke at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. And then Smith won an Oscar.
In a cover story for Magazine C, Kunis shared that she and her husband Ashton Kutcher stayed in their seats at the Dolby Theater as Smith took the stage to receive his award. She says she was “shocked” by celebrities giving him a standing ovation.
“The idea of leading by example only makes sense if you actually have someone to lead,” Kunis said. “We have our little tribe here at home, and I never want to tell them to do something if I’m not willing to do it myself.”
She continued: “Not standing up to me was a no-brainer, but what shocked me was how many people stood up… I thought, wow, what a time we’re living in that time instead of doing the right thing, folks. focus on doing what looks good. It’s insane to me.”
Kunis’ “little tribe” includes Kutcher and their two children, daughter Wyatt, 8, and son Dimitri, 6.
Smith’s hit came after Rock mentioned Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, a very dated reference to Demi Moore’s 1997 female soldier movie.
“Jada, I love you,” Rock said to the actress in the audience. “GI Jane 2, I can’t wait to see it.”
Pinkett Smith shaves her head because she has alopecia, an autoimmune disease that can cause hair loss. At first Smith laughed along with the audience, but then he seemed to notice his wife’s annoyance and walked up the stage to punch Rock in retaliation. Once back in his seat, he said, “Keep my wife’s name out of your damn mouth.”
Smith has offered many apologies for the moment, although he did not do so during his acceptance speech that evening. He has resigned from the Academy and will not be allowed to attend the live ceremony for the next ten years, although he may still be nominated for or win Oscars.
Aimée Lutkin is the weekend editor at ELLE.com. Her writing has appeared in Jezebel, Glamour, Marie Claire and more. Her first book, The Lonely Hunter, will be released by Dial Press in February 2022.
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