A slap in the face at the Oscars and an unfortunate gaffe by the president, two moments of live television that have sparked huge debate and division.
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A SLAP IN THE FACE
The Oscars were held last night. You probably know that already, and likely because of the moment Will Smith slapped host and comedian, Chris Rock.
What happened? Rock made a joke about Will's wife Jada - who has alopecia - appearing in an upcoming G.I. Jane movie. In the 1997 G.I. Jane movie, Demi Moore plays the role of the first woman undergoing Navy Seal training. During this process, the character shaves her head.
How did Will react? He originally appeared to smile on camera, but his wife had a visibly different reaction. Moments later, Smith walked on stage and hit Rock across the face. At this point, many thought the moment may have been scripted, but when Smith returned to his seat he was twice heard shouting; "keep my wife's name out your f***ing mouth".
You can watch the uncensored version of the moment 👇🏽
In a matter of hours, the clip has been viewed more than 30 million times, with the moment completely dominating coverage of the Academy Awards.
Worth noting: Jada first spoke openly about her alopecia - an autoimmune disorder where "the body attacks its own hair follicles" in 2018. Here is a link to an Instagram video of Jada speaking about her experience with the condition.
What has the reaction been like? The Academy released a statement, saying it "does not condone violence of any form". The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said they are not investigating the incident at this time because Rock "declined to file a police report".
What about celebrity reactions?
And the Oscar goes to... minutes later, Will Smith was back on stage, tearfully accepting his first Oscar award. He won for Best Actor in a Leading Role. This was for his role in 'King Richard', playing the father of Venus and Serena Williams.
PIN DROP - WHAT'S THE LATEST ON UKRAINE?
Ahead of negotiations between Russia and Ukraine in Turkey this week, President Zelensky said Ukraine's government is "carefully" considering Russia's demand for Ukrainian neutrality.
Zelensky also said such a commitment would have to put to the Ukrainian people via referendum. Al Jazeera published the very informative map 👇🏽 this morning, showing just how much of the country is currently under Russian control.
What else is going on? Over the weekend, President Biden went off script when talking about President Putin, saying; "for God's sake, this man cannot remain in power".
Those nine words had the White House quickly backtracking, triggering an "international political storm". Secretary of State Antony Blinken said any decision on the future of Russia's leadership would be "up to the Russian people".
CNN published a really interesting article about it - How Biden's 9 unscripted words could impact the war in Ukraine.
ON TODAY'S AGENDA...
EU Interior Ministers will meet today "to discuss the handling of Ukrainian and Moldovan refugees into member states".
WHAT ELSE HAPPENED?
Following a challenging royal tour of Belize, Jamaica and the Bahamas, Prince William suggested he may not lead the Commonwealth in the future, in what has been described as an "unprecedented statement".
As Sky News noted, the comments "are striking when you consider the importance of the Commonwealth to the Queen".
- BBC News: Oscar winner Will Smith hits Chris Rock on stage
- The Guardian: Will Smith not facing charges for slapping Chris Rock, says LAPD, as Academy releases statement - Oscars 2022 live!
- The Financial Times: Spectre of 'Indo-Pacific Nato' accelerates China's decoupling from the west
- Al Jazeera: Ukraine considers Russian neutrality demand ahead of new talks
- The Irish Times: Oscars 2022: Will Smith slapping Chris Rock overshadows CODA's best picture award
WORTH A WATCH
A documentary on Channel 4 about King Edward VIII's connection to the Nazi regime makes for a fascinating watch, and is currently available on 4od.
Edward VIII: Britain's Traitor King details explosive evidence that the former king - who abdicated in 1936 - allegedly called for bombs to be dropped on London during WWII, as "continued severe bombing would make England ready for peace".
A Telegraph review described it as a "breathtaking act of disloyalty", adding the documentary was "like a nail in the coffin" of Edward's legacy.
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