FACT CHECK: Was Chris Rock Wearing Face Pad When Will Smith Slapped Him at The Oscars?

One of the most bizarre claims to emerge from the incident alleges that Rock was wearing a face pad to cushion the blow when Will smacked him across the face on Sunday.

The internet is abuzz with conspiracy theories since moment Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage during the Oscar 2022 on Sunday night. The infamous slap has sparked a slew of outlandish claims, including suggestions that Rock was wearing a face pad at the time of the incident.

The claim is completely false and has since been debunked by experts. However, morphed and altered photographs continue to be circulated on social media. To put it simple, Rock was not wearing a face pad as being claimed by many and Smith's slap was not staged, which is also being claimed by many.

New Conspiracy Theory

Chris Rock face pad
The photograph that appears to show Chris Rock wearing a face pad when Will Smith slapped him Twitter

Following a flurry of negative reactions on Twitter on Sunday night about whether Rock deserved to be slapped for making a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, a sizable contingent of internet trolls began to claim the whole affair was staged. By Monday several other weird claims started emerging.

One of the most bizarre claims to emerge from the incident alleges that Rock was wearing a face pad to cushion the blow when Will smacked him across the face on Sunday. "In 8k quality images you can see a pad on chris rocks cheek, yeah conspiracy theorists gonna go crazy with this one," a tweeter user posted on Monday claiming that the event was staged.

The tweets is accompanied by a photograph of Rock being slapped by Smith in close up where it appears to show that the comedian is wearing a face pad. However, official images from the moment do not show anything of the sort on Chris' face.

Chris Rock altered photograph
The altered photo of Chris Rock seen with face pad that gave rise to wild conspiracy theories Twitter

The photo in the viral tweet's source is unknown, but Gizmodo suggests two possibilities: it might have been photo-shopped or processed by a "artificial intelligence" tool.

Artificial intelligence tries to infer what is missing in an image, and apps like Remini allow individuals zoom up an image to get a better look.

Baseless Claim

To put it in simpler words, the photo being circulated on social media is morphed and photoshopped and is fake. Rock wasn't wearing a face pad is the claim is completely false and baseless and just another conspiracy theory revolving around the incident.

Chris Rock slap
The original photograph of Chris Rock being slapped Twitter

Reuters too has debunked the claim. The original photograph of Rock getting slapped by Smith was captured by photographer Brian Snyder. It is sized " 2713px × 1793px", as opposed to the picture in question, which is of "8K quality and sized 7,680px x 4,320px".

The publication has further claimed that the "skin tone and natural face wrinkles in the original photo were likely edited in the version on social media."

The face pad theory, however, is far from the only one that has been circulating since Sunday.

Another notion is that the fight was staged to sell a new alopecia medicine, as Rock mocked Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett, who suffers from the disease. Twitter user Alistair Williams wrote: "Pfizer sponsored the oscars last night and they have an alopecia drug coming out.

"Do you see the game yet?" While Pfizer was a sponsor of the event and its subsidiary Arena is working on an alopecia therapy, there is no proof to back up the tweet's outrageous allegation.

Arena's medication, etrasimod, is being researched as an oral supplement to treat immuno-inflammatory illnesses other than alopecia.

Pfizer is also unlikely to register it with the FDA very soon, given it has only recently completed its Phase 3 trial, according to Highsnobiety.

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