FACT CHECK: Does This Picture Show Nicole Kidman Reacting To Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock At The Oscars?

Hannah Hudnall | Fact Check Reporter

An image shared on Facebook over 1,400 times purportedly shows actress Nicole Kidman reacting to actor Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars.

Verdict: False

The picture was captured prior to Smith’s altercation with Rock. The image appears to show Kidman’s reaction to actress Jessica Chastain entering the room.

Fact Check:

Smith walked onto the stage at the 2022 Academy Awards on Sunday and slapped Rock after the comedian made a joke at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, according to CBS News. Rock’s joke targeted Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, which the actress has previously explained is due to her alopecia, the outlet reports.

An image shared on Facebook, which has garnered over 25,000 reactions, claims to show Kidman’s reaction to the incident. It shows the actress with her mount open, seemingly in amazement. “Nicole Kidman should win the Oscar for Best Reaction To Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock,” the photo’s caption claims.

Though the picture was captured at the 2022 Oscars and can be found on Getty Images, it was snapped before Smith struck Rock. One user on Twitter shared the photo at 7:34 p.m. EST, about 26 minutes before the program’s 8 p.m. start time, according to CNET. (RELATED: Do These Photos Show Rihanna Holding Her Child?)

“The picture of Nicole Kidman was taken during the non-televised portion of the Oscars,” said photographer Myung Chun of the LA Times in an email to Check Your Fact. “The time stamp in the image metadata showed the time as 4:19 pm.”
“It appeared to me that she was reacting with excitement to seeing Jessica Chastain on the other side of the room,” added Chun. “Kidman reached out with both arms and waved at her. Shortly thereafter, Chastain came over to meet Kidman and her husband Keith Urban.”

Update: This article has been updated with the comment from Chun. 

Hannah Hudnall

Fact Check Reporter

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