'Summer of Soul' producer criticizes Will Smith, Chris Rock in since-deleted Twitter thread
WASHINGTON - The Chris Rock and Will Smith confrontation at the Oscars has generated plenty of reaction, and you can now add producer Joseph Patel to that growing list.
Patel condemned Rock and Smith for their heated exchange at the Oscars, and for a joke Rock made after "Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised)" won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Director Questlove and producers Patel, Robert Fyvolent, and Davis Dinerstein took home the award.
In a recently-deleted series of tweets on Wednesday, Patel didn’t mince words towards Smith and Rock for what happened at the Oscars, according to FOX News and other media outlets who reported on the posts.
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Patel said it took him a few days to "process everything," sharing that once people realized that the confrontation between the comedian and actor was not a bit, "everything got turned upside down."
Patel wrote in one of the tweets, "I think what Will did was selfish. It robbed the category of its moment. It robbed the other excellent and amazing films of their moment to be acknowledged in what was a STRONG year for docs. And it robbed Summer of Soul and our team our moment. Of a loud, enthusiastic cheer for a celebrated film."
(L-R) Joseph Patel, Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson, David Dinerstein and Robert Fyvolent, winners of the Oscar for Documentary Feature for “Summer of Soul." (Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic/GettyImages)
The producer in another tweet said he later found out about the joke Rock made after "Summer of Soul" won the award.
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Patel tweeted: "What I didn’t hear in that moment walking to the stage but was told of afterwards is what Chris Rock said when reading our name from the winner’s card - The winner is ‘Summer of Soul....Ahmir ’Questlove’ Thompson and 4 white guys." WHAT IN THE ACTUAL F---?????." "The reason that makes me SO SO VERY ANGRY is because I was so proud to be one of a handful of South Asians to have ever won an Oscar in the history of the award."
MARCH 27: Will Smith appears to slap Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
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Twitter user @rishi____shah wrote, "Chris Rock disrespecting @jazzbeezy calling him a ‘white guy’! But also hilarious that it can be disrespectful to call a brown guy a white guy! Congrats brown guy Joseph! And @questlove too! Summer Of Soul ruled."
Patel replied to @rishi____shah’s tweet writing "Yeah, **** Chris Rock for this one actually."
Patel later deleted the thread and shared a follow-up tweet early Thursday.
"We reached the unproductive portion of the viral Twitter thread so I've deleted it. I said what I needed to say and feel at peace with it. Some of y'all are weirdos," the producer wrote.
The incident between the entertainers occurred on stage before Rock presented the best documentary feature category. Moments later, Rock revealed "Summer of Soul" won the award and he announced the winners as "Ahmir Thompson (Questlove) and four white guys" as the men walked up to the stage to accept their award.
Patel later tweeted Wednesday "We reached the unproductive portion of the viral Twitter thread so I've deleted it. I said what I needed to say and feel at peace with it. Some of y'all are weirdos."
Smith slapped Rock after the comedian made a joke about the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith. The exchange between Smith and Rock began when the comedian took aim at Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, saying, "Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it, all right?" Rock’s reference was made from the 1997 film "G.I. Jane," starring Demi Moore, who shaved her head to portray a fictional Navy Seal candidate.
Pinkett-Smith has spoken publicly about her diagnosis of alopecia, which can cause baldness.
The actor walked onto the stage from his front-row seat and took a swing at Rock with an open palm, generating a loud smack. Smith walked back to his seat and shouted for Rock to leave Pinkett Smith alone. Rock replied that he was just making a "G.I. Jane" joke — and Smith yelled back at him a second time.
Smith apologized to Rock Monday for the incident in an Instagram post.
FOX5 New York contributed to this story. This story was reported from Washington, D.C.