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Body Language Expert Explains Whether Will Smith Slap Was Real Or Fake

Jess Hardiman

| Last updated 

Body Language Expert Explains Whether Will Smith Slap Was Real Or Fake

A body language expert has weighed in on whether or not Will Smith’s Oscars slap was staged, having analysed the behaviour of the Oscar winner - and that of Chris Rock - during their unexpectedly heated exchange yesterday. Watch it for yourself here:


Smith shocked the A-list audience when he stormed onto the stage and slapped Chris Rock across the face after the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, having said she looked like ‘G.I. Jane’ as a supposed reference to shaven head. 

After returning to his seat, Smith shouted angrily up to Rock: "Keep my wife's name out your f**king mouth." 

After watching the footage, many people were convinced that the incident was set up. Now, one body language has given his thoughts on the incident.

Darren Stanton, whose nickname is the ‘human lie detector’, is sure that Smith simply could not have faked 'that level of emotion'.

Credit: ABC
Credit: ABC

Speaking on behalf of Slingo, Stanton said: “Once Chris Rock made the joke about Will Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith, you could see a visible emotional shift within the couple. 

“The joke targeting Jada’s shaved head following her battle with alopecia, clearly made her uncomfortable and she showed signs in her face of awkwardness and disdain after being embarrassed in front of her peers and the world. 

“Will, on the other hand, made a slightly loose laugh and leant back in his chair, which is a sign of tension or uneasiness."

Stanton said Rock's stance showed he clearly 'wasn't expecting what was about to happen' as Smith got up on stage, and that there were signs he may have thought the confrontation was a 'prank'.

He explained: "With his hands behind his back, he displayed a position of authority, like many police officers, politicians and other empowered people stand in certain situations. 

"He was also exposing most of his body and vital organs, a sign that there didn’t seem to be any imminent danger so he must have thought it was going to be a prank. 

Credit: ABC
Credit: ABC

“As Will Smith sat down, the first thing we notice is that he does what we call a chin thrust. This is a classic gesture of power and dominance, like animals do when defending their young. We can also see flared nostrils, prolonged eye contact, which are signs of genuine anger. We also see him flash a micro-expression of disgust, in this instance his nostrils tail in as if he has sensed a bad smell."

Credit: ABC
Credit: ABC

Stanton concluded: “There’s been a number of theories online that this confrontation was staged, however, gauging from the degree of anger that Will Smith was displaying, this was 100 percent genuine. You cannot fake that level of emotion. 

“Shots of Jada on the red carpet show her quite still and rigid, almost in a state of anger or humiliation, proved by her declining to appear in photos with her family."

Featured Image Credit: ABC

Topics: Celebrity, Will Smith

Jess Hardiman
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