Michael Kelly featured by 7News on the Will Smith Oscars 2022 slap controversy
Michael Kelly was asked by 7 News to provide his analysis of Will Smith’s controversial Oscars slap.
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Will Smith Oscars 2022 slap controversy: Body language expert reveals why actor was laughing
Rhiannon Lewin and Georgie Kearney for 7NEWS
A day after one of the most shocking moments in Academy Awards history, many have weighed in on Will Smith’s controversial slap, whether he was provoked and how the Oscars organisers should deal with it.
Will Smith struck presenter and comedian Chris Rock across the face during the awards ceremony on Monday, after taking offence to a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
While Smith has since apologised, intrigue surrounds the incident and the moments leading up to it.
Australian body language and speech expert Michael Kelly, told 7NEWS.com.au he believes Will Smith knew “exactly what he was doing” when he walked on stage and approached Chris Rock.
“When Chris was making the joke, it almost seems like Will was just processing it … it seemed like it slowly dawned on him that it was an offence on him,” Mr Kelly said.
“It seemed as if he laughed and then went, ‘hold on’.”
Mr Kelly suggested Smith’s rage “bubbled up” inside him as he approached the stage.
“When he walked up, you knew what he was going to do, it felt like what else would he do besides hit him … it was a purposeful walk.”
Minutes later, after Smith won the Best Actor, Mr Kelly said his acceptance speech was full of “deep emotion”.
“He was deeply impacted,” Mr Kelly said.
“It was deep emotion and his voice was shaky.
“It was quite the confluence of things, winning the award and having Chris Rock insult him. I think when he apologised (to the Academy, rather than Rock personally) he was just keeping it together.”
Mr Kelly also added he was “surprised” at how well Chris Rock took the slap.