Will Smith won his first Academy Award at last night’s Oscar’s ceremony, but his biggest moment of the evening — and likely that of the entire show — was when he publicly cracked Chris Rock across the face for an ill-received joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s hair, or lack thereof. And one person who was in total support of Smith’s retaliation was Pinkett-Smith’s co-star in the 2017 comedy Girls Trip, Tiffany Haddish.
“When I saw a Black man stand up for his wife. That meant so much to me,” Haddish said to People after last’s night’s Oscars show. “As a woman, who has been unprotected, for someone to say like, ‘Keep my wife’s name out your mouth, leave my wife alone,’ that’s what your husband is supposed to do, right? Protect you. And that meant the world to me.”
Haddish cut off all her hair two years ago in an effort to know her body better, and she felt the need to reassure her fans she didn’t “have a mental problem” for doing so. “Nothing is wrong with my brain, you guys. I’ve literally been talking about this for years. I want to see my scalp,” she said during her July 2020 IG live show.
Jada Pinkett-Smith, however, has been rocking a bald cut to deal with alopecia. The Red Table Talk host first opened up in 2018 about her battle with condition. Pinkett-Smith says she first noticed a problem when chunks of hair started falling out in the shower, and she finally decided to shave off all her hair at the end of last year.
“Mama’s gonna have to take it down to the scalp so nobody thinks she got brain surgery or something,” she wrote on IG this past December. “Me and this alopecia are going to be friends… period!”
A growing cohort of celebs are denouncing Smith’s actions last night as “pure rage and violence.” That list includes the likes of ESPN sports analyst Stephen A. Smith, legendary shock jock Howard Stern, film director Rob Reiner, and more, per The Hollywood Reporter.
But you can keep Tiffany Haddish off that list. In fact, she sees the moment as one where Will stood up for his spouse in front of the world, no matter the fallout. “[M]aybe the world might not like how it went down,” she added in her post-Oscars show interview with People, “but for me, it was the most beautiful thing I ever seen because it made me believe that there are still men out there that love and care about their women, their wives.”