Home Entertainment Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock at Oscars 2022 After Joke Gone Wrong

Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock at Oscars 2022 After Joke Gone Wrong

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Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock at Oscars 2022 After Joke Gone Wrong

Will Smith slapped Chris Rock in the face on stage at the Oscars after the comic made a joke about the actor’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

At Sunday night’s Oscar ceremony, Will Smith shocked the room by approaching the stage and slapping presenter Chris Rock in the face after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife, actor Jada Pinkett Smith. 

“Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2,” he said, in an apparent reference to her shaved hairdo – a result of the hair loss condition alopecia. Smith walked on stage and struck Rock before returning to his seat and shouting: “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”He later apologised to the Academy.

In a tearful acceptance speech for best actor, he also said he wanted to apologise to all his fellow nominees. There was no specific apology for Rock.

Rock was on the Oscar stage to present the award for best documentary. He began by making a few jokes about members of the show’s audience, including Pinkett Smith—referring to her as “G.I. Jane” due to her closely cropped hair. (Pinkett Smith has spoken in the past about her battle with alopecia.) Shortly after Rock made the joke, Smith walked to the stage and slapped the comedian across the face. He then returned to his seat and shouted, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”

At first, watching the telecast, it was unclear whether the assault was a planned bit. But the show’s audio immediately cut out after Smith slapped Rock, then stayed muted as Rock said, “Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me,” while Smith walked away. When Smith yelled from his seat, Rock, still onstage, seemed stunned.

“Wow, dude,” replied Rock “It was a G.I. Jane joke.”

Rock went on to present the documentary prize to Summer of Soul director Questlove. Immediately after, Sean “Diddy” Combs came onstage to introduce a clip montage celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Godfather. “I didn’t know that this year was going to be the most exciting Oscars ever!” he said. “Okay, Will, Chris—we’re going to solve that like family. But right now we’re moving on with love.” In the press room, Questlove declined to answer questions about the altercation. Reporters in the press room were also told they could no longer ask questions about other parts of the show, presumably to head off any more queries about the slap.  

Denzel Washington pulled Smith to the side for a conversation after the exchange, kneeling alongside Pinkett Smith when the show returned from the commercial break. Tyler Perry also joined Washington and Smith during the commercial break. 

Backstage at the Oscars after the incident, Rock played down his violent encounter with Smith. Per V.F.’s Anthony Breznican, one witness said Rock referenced Smith’s portrayal of Muhammad Ali in the Oscar-nominated biopic about the late boxer. “That’s the only time you get hit by Muhammad Ali and it doesn’t leave a scratch,” Rock purportedly said. 

Smith was in attendance at this year’s Oscars to collect the best-actor prize for his performance in King Richard. The actor had been the perceived front-runner for months and won, as expected, on Sunday night. In his tear-filled speech, Smith compared himself to Richard Williams, a man who is also known as “a fierce defender of his family.”

“I know to do what we do, you’ve got to be able to take abuse,” he said. “You’ve got to be able to have people disrespecting you, and you’ve got to smile and you’ve got to pretend like that’s okay.… I look like the crazy father, just like they said.… Love will make you do crazy things.”

Author: Seyi Awoleye

Los-Angeles, CA, USA

seyiawoleye@yahoo.com