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Ciara O'Rourke
By Ciara O'Rourke March 29, 2022

No, these aren’t photos of celebrities reacting to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock

If Your Time is short

  • A grid of photos showing aghast celebrities was compiled in 2017 and captures their reactions to a mistake during the 2017 Academy Awards in which “La La Land” was announced as Best Picture when “Moonlight” actually won the top prize. 
  • These photos don’t show celebrities reacting to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock during the 2022 Oscars. 

A grid showing the shocked faces of 12 celebrities is being shared on social media with the claim it shows actors, actresses and directors reacting to Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock at the Academy Awards on March 27. 

But we did reverse image searches of the aghast faces and found that’s not the case. 

These posts were flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Featured Fact-check

This grid of photos has been online since 2017, when "Moonlight" won Best Picture at the Oscars. But that night, "La La Land" was first wrongly named as the award’s winner and its producers were making their acceptance speeches when it was revealed that there had been a mistake — "Moonlight" was the actual winner.  

Actors including Matt Damon, Dwayne Johnson, Busy Phillips, Meryl Streep, Salma Hayek and David Oyelowo were all reacting to the blunder. 

We rate these posts False. 


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No, these aren’t photos of celebrities reacting to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock

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