Chris Rock wasn’t the only casualty of Will Smith’s rage at Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony. Sure, it was Rock’s face that absorbed the power of Smith’s smack after the comedian made a joke about the King Richard star’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. But the confusion that ensued in the moments following the unexpected skirmish left many viewers trying to piece together what they had just seen, as the American broadcast cut the live feed in order to censor Smith’s language and some of what had happened. Had it all been a skit?
As viewers feverishly texted friends and checked Twitter to see what exactly they had missed, one person seemed to get lost in the shuffle: Questlove, the Philly-born musician who first rose to fame as the frontman for The Roots, and who has racked up credits as a songwriter, record producer, author, actor, film producer, and director (when he’s not heading up the house band for The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon).
It was Questlove, a.k.a. Ahmir Thompson, who ended up inching one step closer to an EGOT when he won the Oscar for Best Documentary for Summer of Soul (…Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised), an outstanding reminder of the 1969 Harlem Cultural Festival, a celebration of Black music and culture, which was largely overshadowed by Woodstock, as the two events partly overlapped.
Fortunately, legendary comedian/actor George Wallace made sure to call out Questlove’s achievement, and assure Quest—who directed and executive produced the doc—that “We saw that sh*t, Quest!”
Y'all let's make sure @QuestLove wakes up to a mountain of love for winning an Oscar and whatnot. We saw that shit, Quest!
— George Wallace (@MrGeorgeWallace) March 28, 2022
Questlove appreciated, and felt, the love.
Meanwhile, Smith has officially issued an apology to Rock for how things went down at last night’s ceremony, saying that he is “a work in progress.” Maybe an “I’m sorry” to Questlove will come next.