News24.com | Questlove recalls winning an Oscar moments after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock

Ahmir Questlove Thompson, winner of Documentary (Feature) award for Summer of Soul.


Ahmir Questlove Thompson, winner of Documentary (Feature) award for Summer of Soul.


Photo: Mike Coppola/Getty Images

  • Questlove opened up about gracing the stage just minutes after the debacle between Chris Rock and Will Smith.
  • The Roots frontman won the award for his documentary Summer of Soul.
  • The musician admitted that he was more focused on staying calm before walking onto the stage than on what was actually happening.

Questlove opened up about gracing the stage just minutes after the debacle between Chris Rock and Will Smith.

The musician won the Academy Award for his documentary Summer of Soul at the 2022 Oscars. However, his spotlight was overshadowed by a viral moment that had occurred only minutes before his name was called.

Speaking on the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, Questlove admitted his mind was elsewhere when the incident occurred.

“Of course, you know, that [winning the Oscar] happened in the cyclone of a whole [other] situation with two very good friends of mine,” The Roots frontman explained.

“And I really wasn’t aware of that, it’s weird to say, because – they tell you ahead of time, ‘This is your category!’ And so, in that moment, you’re either gonna be full of anxiety or for me, I’ve been meditating for the last two years.”

Questlove explained that he had his eye closed during the commercial break and was in a zen space, adding that he pretty much missed the entire thing.

“When I opened my eyes, I didn’t realise, like, ‘Why is everyone so quiet?’ I literally was not present for that whole entire moment. And as I’m walking to the stage, I’m kind of putting two and two together, and I realise that that was a real moment, maybe three seconds before I spoke words.”

Smith has since apologised for slapping Rock on stage at the Oscars after the comedian made a joke at Jada Pinkett Smith’s expense. 

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