Jokes about Will Smith slapping Chris Rock arose during Sunday night’s Grammy Awards, a full week after the stunning Oscars moment. Host Trevor Noah vowed to “keep people’s names out of our mouth,” alluding to Smith’s shouts at Rock at the Oscars.
“It is going to be such a beautiful evening,” Noah said in his opening monologue. “Don’t even think of it as an awards show. This is a concert where we’re going to be giving out awards. We’re going to be listening to some music, we’re going to be dancing, we’re going to be singing, we’re going to be keeping people’s names out of our mouths and we’re going to be giving out awards all throughout the night.”
Questlove, who won both an Oscar and a Grammy for his documentary “Summer of Soul (… Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised),” joked about the slap as he presented the award for song of the year. He won the Oscar for best documentary feature moments after Smith slapped Rock.
“All right, I am going to present this award, and I trust that you people will stay 500 feet away from me. As they say it is far better to give than to receive,” he said. “Well, I’m not so sure about that, because last Sunday it felt pretty good to receive.”
And during the awards’ premiere ceremony before the televised show, host LeVar Burton warned the audience to “keep your hands to yourself.” “I want to warn you all that our next presenter is a comedian, if you know what I mean,” Burton said. “So I need to caution everybody: Remain in your seats and keep your hands to yourself, all right?”
Smith, who won best actor for his role in “King Richard,” later resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He faces disciplinary action and possible expulsion for the outburst.