Despite the earnest pleas of Daniel Radcliffe and Jerrod Carmichael, Slap Discourse continues. As the first big award show post-Oscars, the Grammys was always destined to have some slap content. Naturally, it was touched on in host Trevor Noah’s monologue. Noah said “we’re gonna be keeping people’s names out of our mouths,” in reference to what Will Smith yelled at Chris Rock after his Jada Pinkett Smith dig. At the time of the altercation, Rock was presenting Best Documentary to Questlove’s Summer of Soul. While presenting Song of the Year, Questlove referenced the Slap, saying “I’m gonna present this award and I trust you people stay 500 feet away from me,” before adding, “Just playing.” Questlove told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show that he wasn’t really aware of the Slap taking place, because he was meditating at the time.
But we didn’t expect it to start before the show even got fully underway. Pre-show host LeVar Burton and comedian Nate Bargatze did a double act about the Slap during the non-televised awards presentation. “I want to warn you all that our next presenter is a comedian, if you know what I mean,” Burton said. “So, I need to caution everybody, remain in your seats and keep your hands to yourself.” Bargatze then entered the stage wearing a crash helmet. “They said comedians have to wear these now at awards shows during the joke parts. It doesn’t even cover your face, I think it just focuses where you would hit me, Bargatze said. “All right, this is stupid, I’ll take it off.” Shortly after presenting, Bargatze lost Best Comedy Album to Louis C.K. Smith resigned from the Academy post-Slap, and several of his projects are apparently on hold.