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People Are Blaming William Shakespeare For Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock

People Are Blaming William Shakespeare For Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock

Some Oscars viewers have decided to blame William Shakespeare for Will Smith and Chris Rock's altercation.

Some Oscars viewers have decided to blame William Shakespeare for the altercation that went down between Will Smith and Chris Rock. 

Clearly, the superstitious and theatrical among us have turned up in defence of Will Smith.

The actor strode to the stage at the 94th Academy Awards to not only collect his Best Actor Oscar, but to also deliver a swift slap to Chris Rock after the presenter made a 'GI Jane 2' joke about wife Jada Pinkett Smith's lack of a hair - a result of her alopecia.

However, it looks like the person who is getting the rap for Smith's behaviour is a man who is dead.

Some thespians have claimed that Rock's reference to 'The Scottish Play' a.k.a. Macbeth - in congratulating Denzel Washington for his performance in 2021 adaptation The Tragedy of Macbeth - doomed the rest of the evening.

Writer Jen Crittenden took to Twitter to state: "This is why you don't say Macbeth in a theater."

"So true. The minute Chris Rock said Macbeth on stage, my husband turned to me and said, 'This is not going to go well for him'," Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage responded.

The superstition surrounding saying 'Macbeth' while inside a theatre is because many fear that uttering the play's name spurs on bad luck or even a 'curse'.

The Royal Shakespeare Company explains 'the curse of the Scottish play' on its website.

"According to folklore, Macbeth was cursed from the beginning. A coven of witches objected to Shakespeare using real incantations, so they put a curse on the play.

"Legend has it the play’s first performance (around 1606) was riddled with disaster. The actor playing Lady Macbeth died suddenly, so Shakespeare himself had to take on the part. Other rumoured mishaps include real daggers being used in place of stage props for the murder of King Duncan (resulting in the actor’s death)," it states.

After the incident occurred, Washington offered Smith advice, warning him: "In your highest moments, be careful, that's when the devil comes for you."

A Twitter user wrote: "And then the guy who played Macbeth went and consoled Will. Full circle."

"If that’s all Chris Rock got for saying the Scottish play’s name, he got off lite. Good thing for him there was no sword play last night on stage," another joked.

A third resolved: "This tweet will never not be underrated."

To be fair to the viewers, the altercation has been the most talked about moment of this year's Oscars and, after all, Shakespeare is considered the world's greatest dramatist.

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Featured Image Credit: Alamy/CBS

Topics: Oscars, TikTok, Will Smith, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith