Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars 2022 ceremony is now an iconic pop-culture moment. Callbacks to it do not seem to stop and it will probably be a while till it drops off daily conversations and references. The White House Correspondents Dinner of 2022 stands testament.
“Thank you for having me here,” Noah said to Biden. “And I was a little confused on why me, but then I was told that you get your highest approval ratings when a biracial African guy is standing next to you.”
In reference to the Oscars Slap, Noah expressed concern about, say, making a snide remark about Kellyanne Conway “and then her husband rushes up on the stage and… thanks me.”
At this year’s Grammys too, Noah made a veiled reference to the infamous Oscars slap.
“We’re gonna be listening to some music,” Noah stated as he began the show. “We’re gonna be dancing, we’re gonna be singing, we’re gonna be keeping people’s names out of our mouths, and we’re gonna be giving out awards.”
Fans may recall that after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock for making a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head (a result of her alopecia), he returned to his seat and snarled at the comedian, “Keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth!”
While most of the dinner was filled with humour, Biden did mention the critical role journalism has had in American democracy, particularly in the last decade.
“I mean this from the bottom of my heart, that you, the free press, matter more than you ever did in the last century,” he said. “You are the guardians of the truth.”
Other sombre moments included honours to pioneer journalists of colour, aspiring student reporters, and a homage to journalists jailed, injured, or killed while covering Russia’s ongoing assault of Ukraine.