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Will Smith turned Lupita Nyongo into a global meme, she reacts

By Winnie Mabel October 25th, 2022 2 min read

Kenyan actress Lupita Nyongo spoke to The Hollywood Reporter on October 19, 2022, to reveal she knew she would be a global viral meme because of legendary actor Will Smith.

This was in relation to Will Smith’s behavior at the 94th Academy Award Ceremony that was held on March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

At the ceremony, Lupita was sat directly behind Will Smith before he and the event host Chris Rock began having a verbal exchange after the comedian made a joke about Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

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Actress Lupita Nyong'o arrives for the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018, in Hollywood, California. AFP | FILE PHOTO 
Actress Lupita Nyong’o arrives for the 90th Annual Academy Awards on March 4, 2018, in Hollywood, California. AFP | FILE PHOTO

At first, it started out as banter until Will Smith started being vulgar in warning Rock to keep his wife’s name out of his mouth.

During this exchange, Lupita’s face first expressed surprise before it began morphing into disbelief and shock at the things Will Smith was saying before he went on stage and slapped Chris Rock.

“I knew as soon as it was over that I was going to be a meme, Once the moment was over, I realized, ‘Oh my God, there’s no way all this transpired and I’m not in the shot. I don’t want to add any more fuel to that thing, quite frankly,’ ” Nyong’o told The Hollywood Reporter.

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LUPITA’S FACE OMGGGGG ENERGY IDC IDC DO NOT SPEAK ON HIS WIFE!! Where my will smith attrttt #oscars #greenscreenvideo #singlemom

♬ original sound – Tenille

Following the slap and global outrage, Will Smith apologized for his “unacceptable and inexcusable behavior.”

“I would like to publicly apologise to you, Chris, I was out of line and I was wrong. Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behaviour at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” said Smith in part.

He was also banned from the Academy Awards for 10 years following his violent behavior. In his apology, he also issued one to the Academy, saying, “I deeply regret that my behaviour has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.”

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