Actress Mila Kunis is still talking about this year’s Academy Awards, probably because it contained one of the most shocking moments the show has offered in quite a long time. Will Smith infamously slapped 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 husband Ashton Kutcher remained planted in their seats at the Dolby theater when Smith went up on 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 when you actually have someone to lead,” Kunis said. “We have our tiny little tribe here at home, and never once do I 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 was shocking to me was how many people did stand up…I thought, wow, what a time we’re living in that rather than do what’s right, people focus on doing what looks good. It’s insane to me.”
Kunis’ “tiny little tribe” includes Kutcher and their two children, daughter Wyatt, 8, and son Dimitri, 6.
The hit from Smith came after Rock made mention of Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, making a very dated reference to Demi Moore’s woman soldier film from 1997.
“Jada, I love you,” said Rock to the actress in the audience. “GI Jane 2, 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 with the crowd, but then he seemed to notice his wife’s annoyance and walked on stage to slap Rock in retaliation. Once back in his seat, he said, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f-cking mouth.”
Smith has made made many apologies for the moment, though he did not do so during his acceptance speech that night. He has resigned from the Academy and been banned from attending the live ceremony for the next ten years, though he can still potentially 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.