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'What Will did was selfish'

By Rediff Movies
April 01, 2022 09:55 IST
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'I'm angry. Angry at Will Smith. Angry at Chris Rock.'

IMAGE: Joseph Patel, Ahmir 'Questlove' Thompson, David Dinerstein and Robert Fyvolent, winners of Best Documentary Feature for Summer of Soul (...Or, When the Revolution Could Not Be Televised) at the Oscars. Photograph: David Livingston/Getty Images

The 'Slap' and its repercussions continue.

But Will Smith and Chris Rock aren't the only ones who felt the heat.

Summer Of Soul Producer Joseph Patel lashed out to the two Hollywood actors, even going as far as calling Rock a 'f****** d***'.

It so happened that the Best Documentary Feature was announced right after the slap, and Patel, along with Director Ahmir 'Questlove' Thompson, Robert Fyvolent and David Dinerstein, had to walk up to the stage to collect their award, even as the audience sat stunned.

While that slap, Patel felt, had robbed them of their moment, it was not all.

 

Patel recounted the incident in his Twitter post: 'Once we realized the Chris Rock/Will Smith interaction wasn't a bit, everything got turned upside down. Everyone was still trying to make sense of it when Chris persevered and started to read the nominees.

'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 of our moment. Of a loud, enthusiastic cheer for a celebrated film.

'We were in shock walking to the stage -- not because of winning but because we, too, were still trying to make sense of what happened. Then Will hugs Ahmir and daps me up. I didn't even know it was happening in the moment. Still in shock.'

But Patel adds that in that moment, he didn't hear what Rock actually said.

'What I didn't hear in that moment walking to 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 … four white guys.’ WHAT IN THE ACTUAL F***?????' he tweeted.

'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. I was ecstatic that I was the third South Asian to win that night -- after [Riz Ahmed] and Aneil Karia won earlier in the night for The Long Goodbye. Three South Asians winning on the same night -- that’s never happened before! And it’s meaningful! It’s history!'

'AND HERE’S THE THING. … It wasn’t that Chris Rock was under stress. He made the same joke the night before onstage at the Roots Jam!

'So I'm angry. Angry at Will Smith. Angry at Chris Rock. Angry for me. Angry for Ahmir. Angry for my fellow filmmakers. I got back home to New York last night and saw the ceremony on my DVR and didn't have the stomach to watch it. I probably never will. Thank you, Chris — you absolute f****** d***'.

Patel has since deleted his tweets, saying, '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.'

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