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No, Chris Rock Wasn't Wearing A 'Cheek Pad' -- And Other WILD Will Smith Oscars Slap Conspiracy Theories

Will Smith and Chris Rock conspiracies go wild

While much of the internet continues to unpack the actions of Will Smith at the 2022 Oscars and what it means about the state of Hollywood and society in general, another group has become hell bent on proving it was nothing but a big conspiracy.

And most of the conclusions those conspiracy theorists have come to are, quite frankly, more of a disappointment than The Slap itself.

Related: Whoopi Goldberg — An Academy Governor — Teases ‘Big Consequences’ For Will

But if you’re like us and still want to read some of these crackpot theories out of morbid curiosity, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s dive in…

The Cheek Pad

The most easily disproved of all the conspiracy theories is that Chris Rock was wearing a cheek pad — something we don’t think even exists outside this theory — on his face to cushion the blow.

This ludicrous idea has gained steam thanks to a photo circulating online, which you can see (below):

The thing is, while it purports to be the REAL look, in “8k,” everyone watching the telecast on their HD TVs know there was no point in which Chris Rock — filmed quite close up — could be seen wearing this thing. It would be pretty obvious, even in lowly 4k. Ha!

Yet this REAL look is only available from this one angle? Yeah, sorry. Pretty obviously doctored.

In fact, as Reuters definitively pointed out, the pic is by one of their photographers, Brian Snyder, and it’s not even in 8k. And of course, the original, which you can view HERE, does NOT contain a “cheek pad.”

Of course, the only way Chris would know to wear a pad is if…

“It was staged for publicity”

TBH, we figure most folks thought the slap was a comedy bit at first — until it became clear Will was NOT playing. If they’d all laughed it off, we could buy it, but as is? No way. But some folks were still wary they were being tricked.

Fox News anchor Lawrence Jones was one of many voices insisting The Slap was “a staged act” to promote Chris Rock’s upcoming stand-up tour with Kevin Hart.

Sure, there was the coincidence of Will teaching a kid — named Chris of all things — how to take a fake slap on a video from a few months ago. But it’s not just about if he could, it’s about if he would.

We guess it makes sense that an entertainer might promote their own tour with a big publicity stunt… but why the heck would Will Smith tank his reputation to help Chris sell tickets? Do these people think they’re going backstage and shaking hands and splitting the profits?? Sorry, this is NONSENSE, y’all!

“It was a Big Pharma conspiracy??”

Yes, some people actually think this is a thing.

As you likely know, Smith came for Rock after the comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair. Jada had previously opened up about her battle with alopecia, so this condition found itself in a lot of the dialogue surrounding The Slap.

Well, according to some particularly imaginative QAnon folks on Twitter and TikTok, the truth was clear: The Slap was used to drum up support for Pfizer’s new alopecia drug! (We wish we were kidding.) These theorists believe this was a secret plan by Oscars sponsor Pfizer to create buzz about alopecia before it submitted its latest chemical cocktail for approval from the FDA.

Sure, Pfizer was indeed one of the Oscars co-sponsors — along with Rolex, Verizon,, Michelob, Snapchat, Subway, and Geico — and one of its subsidiaries, Arena, is developing a drug called “etrasimod” as a possible longterm treatment for immuno-inflammatory diseases.

However, this drug would potentially treat more than just alopecia, and Arena had been developing it long before it was acquired by Pfizer in March 2022. Also, the FDA submission will be judged in “a scientific setting,” so it actually doesn’t matter what the public thinks about alopecia.


“Chris Rock uttered the cursed word…”

Okay, this one might actually hold some weight, among our Broadway Babies at least. LOLz! Some online theorists — who are also presumably theater enthusiasts — suggest that the now infamous moment was caused by the curse of the Scottish play, aka Macbeth.

As you may know, it’s an old superstition that you’re never supposed to say the name of the Shakespeare character in a theater, except to perform or rehearse a line from the play. According to folklore, the play was cursed from the start, when a coven of witches opposed Shakespeare’s use of their craft in the text.

Instead of saying “Macbeth,” the character must be referred to as “the Scottish king” or “the Scottish lord,” and the work itself as “the Scottish play,” otherwise, disaster ensues.

Well, as fate would have it, Rock mentioned Macbeth by name when praising Denzel Washington‘s performance in the Shakespearean drama — RIGHT before The Slap went down. He said:

“Denzel! Macbeth! Loved it!”

After The Slap happened, Twitter users wrote:

“To be fair, Chris Rock put a hex on himself by saying ‘Macbeth’ in a theater”

“Keep… Macbeth’s name… out of your F**KING mouth”

“Very obsessed with this take that Chris set himself up for failure by saying ‘Macbeth’ out loud”

“I actually love the idea that Will Smith was simply acting out karmic consequences for saying Macbeth in the theater. The only take I’ll be validating.”


The curse superstition goes back to the very first performance of the play in around 1606, when the actor playing Lady Macbeth suddenly died, so Shakespeare himself had to play the part. It may seem ridiculous, but theater folks swear it’s still real!


Look, The Slap isn’t that complicated, y’all. It was simply the result of a beloved actor who momentarily lost his temper on the biggest night of his life. It was not staged for publicity or to push a new alopecia drug — however, we can’t say with certainty that a centuries-long curse had nothing to do with it either…

[Image via YouTube/AppleTV+/ABC]

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Mar 30, 2022 15:58pm PDT