Lupita Nyong’o Reacts to Becoming a Meme After Seeing Will Smith Slap Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars

In a new interview, Lupita Nyong’o recalled the moment she became a meme after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage at the 2022 Oscars.

By Tamantha Gunn Oct 19, 2022 4:10 PMTags
Watch: Lupita Nyong'o REACTS to Becoming a Meme After Oscars Slap

It was the slap seen all around the world—and Lupita Nyong'o had a front-row seat to the action.

Nearly seven months after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage during the 2022 Oscars, the Black Panther star is sharing how she felt after realizing that she would become a meme for her reaction.

"Once the moment was over, I realized, ‘Oh my God, there's no way all this transpired and I'm not in the shot,'" Lupita told the Hollywood Reporter in an interview published Oct. 19. "I knew as soon as it was over that I was going to be a meme."

While numerous celebrities have spoken out about that viral moment, Lupita opts to let her now-famous reaction—during which she's glancing over at Will with her eyes and mouth wide open in shock—do the talking for her.

"I don't want to add any more fuel to that thing," she said, "quite frankly."

Celebrities React to Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock at Oscars

The Us actress' comments come more than six months after Will confronted Chris on stage and slapped him during the March 27 awards show after the comedian made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia.

When the Spiral actor took the stage to present the award for Best Documentary Feature, he took a moment to say a few jokes about stars in the audience. One of the jokes included a reference to Jada's shaved head.

"Jada, I love you," Chris said at the time. "G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see it, all right?"

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

Though the audience laughed, the Girls Trip actress was not impressed and rolled her eyes as the camera panned over to her. That's when all hell broke loose.

Will then marched onstage and slapped Chris in the face. Once the King Richard actor returned to his seat, he screamed at the Everybody Hates Chris creator, "Keep my wife's name out of your f--king mouth!"

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