Will Smith rushed onstage and punched Chris Rock in the face in an apparently unscripted action that surprised viewers and audience members alike after the comedian made a joke about the actor’s wife while presenting the best documentary prize at the Oscars.
Smith’s wife, the actress Jada Pinkett Smith, was reportedly in “G.I. Jane 2,” a reference to her short-cropped hair. Pinkett Smith has revealed that she suffers from alopecia, a hair loss disorder.
After returning to his seat, Smith raged and cursed at Rock, asking that he not speak about his wife.
The transmission remained silent on many screens during the heated exchange, leaving viewers confused about what had transpired and what had been said.
When it came to performers and their spouses, Rock, the show’s host, had been cracking jokes during a mini-monologue.
“Both Javier Bardem and his wife have been nominated,” stated Rock. “Now he can’t win if she loses.”
Rock said, “He’s praying that Will Smith wins, like, please, lord.” “I adore you, Jada.” “Can’t wait to see ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ right?”
The camera switched to Smith, who appeared to be smiling at the time. The joke, however, was met with lukewarm applause, prompting Rock to add, “That was a nice one!”
Jada Pinkett Smith rolled her eyes at the joke right away. Pinkett Smith has been upfront about her alopecia, explaining how her hair loss developed in an Instagram video last year. She originally revealed her illness on an episode of her talk show in 2018, when she stated she had opted to cut her hair short after a chunk of it fell out in the shower.
Her husband was quickly out of his seat after Rock’s speech on Sunday. Smith made his way down the runway to the stage.
“Uh-oh,” said Rock. Smith approached Rock and struck him; the impact was audible through his microphone.
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Outside of the United States, uncensored broadcasts of the telecast revealed that after being struck, Rock, in an attempt to lighten the situation, confessed that Smith had “smacked” him, using an expletive to express how hard he had been hit.
“Keep my wife’s name out of your fuckmouth!” Smith told Rock as he returned to his seat.
“Wow buddy, it was a ‘G.I. Jane’ joke,” Rock responded.
Smith then stated his demand once more.
“That was the greatest night in the history of television,” Rock exclaimed, before moving on to present the Oscar for the documentary feature to “Summer of Soul.”
Will Smith just punched Chris Rock and told him "keep my wife's name out of your f***ing mouth" pic.twitter.com/1f1ytdbMRv
— CJ Fogler (@cjzer0) March 28, 2022
Smith won the Academy Award for Best Actor shortly after, and he made an emotional acceptance speech in which he said, “I want to apologize to the academy.” I’d want to express my regret to all of my fellow nominees.”
“Thank you,” Will Smith said at the end of his remarks. I’m hoping to get invited back to the academy.”