Chris Rock was onstage at the Oscars, joking about actress Jada Pinket Smith having no hair, when her husband walked up to the comedian and slapped him across the face.
Ted Baehr of MovieGuide says the incident made him think back to when he was a young boy in a Hollywood family. Back then, he says, mocking your wife and children was a “verboten” act by the standards of the day.
“That was forbidden,” he tells AFN, “Today, we've given up on all that and said you can do anything you want.”
It was suspected by some the “slap” was a clever P.R. stunt for the ratings-starved Oscars, but Smith --- who later received who a Best Actor award --- has now apologized and an investigation has been launched.
Eric Schiffer, a brand expert, told Fox News he doubts Smith will be punished for the assault even though the Academy is under pressure to take action.
“The Academy says it does not condone violence, but if that's the case, they should have walked Smith out of the theater and rescinded his award for breaking Academy rules," Schiffer said. "But, their actions suggest a difference between the rich and famous and everyone else."
After the bizarre night was over, the Oscars ratings jumped from an all-time low set last year but still recorded the second-lowest viewership in history.