Have you heard about Will Smith’s smack on Chris Rock? Of course you did: the bizarre occurrence dominated Twitter, boosted Oscars viewing, and prompted all major news outlets to send out push notifications as if it were a global incident. Did you, however, get the whole story? According to the QAnon conspiracy theorists, who are here to show us how everything is manufactured and fabricated to distract us from what’s actually going on, this isn’t the case.
Let’s start with the story they’d like you to believe. Will Smith jumped on stage and slapped Chris Rock after being angered by a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. What evidence do we have that the slap was related to the joke? “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking lips,” Smith may have yelled twice. Because the broadcast audio cut out and Rock was plainly shocked, you could have assumed this was all unscripted. However, that is precisely what they want you to believe. That’s correct. This wasn’t a one-off occurrence, but rather a part of a larger scheme. Ask Max Blumenthal, a Putin supporter and editor of the conspiracy website The Grayzone. On Twitter, Blumenthal speculated that the slap was a staged distraction to divert attention away from reported crimes committed by a Ukrainian National Guard unit. But hold on, it doesn’t end there! The slap was an attempt not just to distract us from the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, but also to indoctrinate us and drive us to acquire vaccines. After all, Pfizer and BioNTech were the show’s main sponsors. Don’t you see what I’m talking about? After the slap caught your attention, they bombarded you with vaccine propaganda about how the shot is “safe” and “effective,” “effectively preventing people from being hospitalized by a disease that has killed about 1 million Americans,” and so on.
While the conspiracy theories are unintelligible unless your brain is catastrophically damaged, the Slap Truthers aren’t alone in viewing the moment as whatever fits your worldview best. As his galaxy brain becomes larger, Ben Shapiro believes it’s about liberal censorship of “unacceptable” ideas. It’s about how, according to alt-right bigots like Paul Joseph Watson, people of color are more violent. It’s about how trans people, according to transphobic ghouls, are ruining gender.
Here’s one theory: Will Smith, enraged by an out-of-line joke, escalated the situation excessively by striking Chris Rock. And that was the end of the story. It’s not a huge conspiracy, and it’s not confirmation of your wacky worldview. It was only a one-time occurrence, and we can all move on now.
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