Combat sports star Paige VanZant has recently shared her take on the infamous Oscars ceremony slappening.
Will Smith had an altercation with Chris Rock after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife’s hair. Rock ‘s joke angered Smith enough to decide to storm the stage and throw a hard slap on Rock’s face that had everyone in the world startled.
Since then, many people have picked sides – defending either Will Smith or Chris Rock. Some believe Will Smith went too far and some praised him for defending his wife. There is also another debate going, about whether the incident was real or it was just a publicity stunt. Dan Hardy and Tito Ortiz were among the first to express their belief that the whole thing is a hoax.
28-year-old Paige VanZant also believes that the incident is fake. Soon after the incident, she took to her Instagram account and posted her thoughts. She wrote on Instagram story that the incident was just a skit to get people to watch the Academy Awards.
“Anyone else think the ‘smack’ at the Oscars was fake AF! Publicity ploy to get people to watch the Oscars. I have so many reasons [why] I think this.” VanZant wrote.
Combat sports expertise aside, it’s a well known fact that the notorious Movie award show was losing steam for the last couple of years. The ratings for the televised broadcast of the awards ceremony had tanked and were on the verge of ‘cancellation’ of sorts.
2022 Oscars ceremony had an uptick of 50% compared to last year when they hit record low viewership. 4 hour telecast drew 15.36 million viewers, per Variety’s reports. While this is much more than the 2021 ceremony it’s also second lowest rated ceremony of all time.
Producers also controversially cut eight technical categories from the telecast in order to make it a better viewing experience. Before last year, the ceremony had never dipped below 20 million viewers.
Aside from Paige VanZant, the former two-division champion Georges St-Pierre also seems like he doesn’t believe the incident was real. GSP commented, “offer them a contract” on Dana White’s Instagram post. Dan Hardy also believes the infamous incident was staged.
Additionally, GSP even made a skit mocking the incident with fellow UFC veteran Stephen Thomson.