Lupita Nyong’o knew her reaction to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards would “be a meme”.
During the ceremony on 27 March, the King Richard actor walked onto the stage and slapped the comedian after he compared his wife Jada Pinkett Smith – who has the medical condition alopecia – to G.I. Jane.
Nyong’o was seated near Smith, and shortly after the shocking moment, a meme showing her appearing to gasp began to circulate on the Internet.
“Once the moment was over, I realised, ‘Oh my God, there’s no way all this transpired and I’m not in the shot,'” she sighed in an interview for The Hollywood Reporter. “I knew as soon as it was over that I was going to be a meme.”
Nyong’o declined to comment further on the incident.
“I don’t want to add any more fuel to that thing, quite frankly,” the 39-year-old added.
Smith apologised to Academy members and his peers during his acceptance speech for Best Actor at the film event and followed it up with a lengthy apology on Instagram the next day.
The 54-year-old subsequently resigned from the Academy and was banned from attending the Oscars for 10 years.
– Cover Media