@ 2022 Advocate Channel.
All Rights reserved

For those who have criticized the Oscars as perpetually boring in the past, be careful what you wish for.


A few hours before the award show began, Will Smith posted a video to Instagram of him and his wife all glammed up for the show.

"Me ‘n @jadapinkettsmith got all dressed up to choose chaos," read the caption.

Looks like Smith wasn't lying either.

While on stage presenting the award for best documentary, Chris Rock made a controversial joke about Jada's shaved head that didn't sit well with her or her husband.

"Jada I love you, 'G.I. Jane 2,' can't wait to see it," joked the comedian.

The camera then cut to Pinkett Smith, who sat there looking unamused as she rolled her eyes. The actress has been vocal about her struggles with alopecia since 2018, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss.

"That was a nice one," continued Rock as he acknowledged the unpopularity of his joke.

Smith then proceeded to walk on stage as a confused Rock responded, "Uh, oh, Richard," and Smith forcefully slapped him across the face.

"Oh wow, wow, Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of me," said the comedian as he tried to keep his composure.

Smith returned to his seat where he yelled toward the stage,

"Keep my wife's name out of your f***ing mouth!"


Although, the explicit response from Smith was muted for viewers at home, uncensored clips of the incident have since circulated on social media.

Celebrities and home audiences alike appeared to be shocked at what happened, wondering if it was scripted at first.

This is not the first time that Rock has joked about Jada Pinkett Smith before either. Back in 2016 when Rock hosted to Oscars, he targeted Jada in one of his jokes for boycotting the event.

“She's gonna boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties," said Rock. "I wasn't invited. That's not an invitation I would turn down, but I understand, I'm not hating."

Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry were both seen talking to the star during a commercial break after the incident.


Minutes later, Sean "Diddy" Combs took the stage and said the pair would work things out later "like family."

Nearly 40 minutes after slapping Rock, Will Smith returned to the stage to accept the best actor award for his portrayal of Richard Williams, Serena and Venus William's father and coach, in the movie "King Richard."

This was Smith's first ever Academy Award.

In an emotional speech a teary eyed Will Smith apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees, but did not offer an apology to Rock directly.

"Oh, man. Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” Smith said, relating the incident to the role he played in the film. “I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people. I know to do what we do, you got to be able to take abuse. You got to be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business you got to be able to have people disrespecting you. And you got to smile, you got to pretend like that’s OK.”
"I want to apologize to the academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees,” he continued. “Art imitates life: I look like the crazy father. Just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.”

Smith also revealed the wisdom that Denzel Washington shared with his fellow actor following what happened.

"At your highest moment be careful, that's when the devil comes for you," Washington told him.


Neither Smith or Rock have publicly commented on the incident, but the LAPD revealed that Rock had declined to press any charges against the "King Richard" actor.

“LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,” the police department told CNN. "The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”

The astonishing incident elicited mixed responses from celebrities. While some condemned Smith for his use of violence, others expressed their support for the actor as he defended his wife against Rock's cruel comments. Scroll below to see how celebrities reacted:

Jaden Smith

After the incident Jada and Will's son showed his support for his father tweeting,

"And That's How We Do It."

Leslie Odom Jr.

The "Hamilton" star spoke about the incident at the Vanity Fair afterparty commenting,

"This business can sometimes feel like walking around with your skin ripped off, you know? It's a very vulnerable thing. And so I think we saw two artists with their hearts open. It's a vulnerable moment, sometimes it's messy but it's always beautiful when it's the truth."

Tiffany Haddish

"I think Chris was messy. As a woman who had a husb, I wish my husb would have stood up for me the way (Will) stood up for (Jada),” the actress told the Los Angeles Times. “That’s what every woman wants, right? She was hurt. And he protected his wife. And that’s what a man is supposed to do."

Amy Schumer

The co-host tried to keep it light when she came back on stage after the incident joking,

“I’ve been getting out of that Spider-Man costume. Did I miss anything? There’s, like, a different vibe in here.”

Judd Apatow

The director had a strong opinion on Smith's use of violence and actively tweeted, criticizing the actor and showing his support for Rock.

“Alert - @amyschumer do not go to the @VanityFair party. Will Smith wants to talk to you about the monologue. Chris— I think you should take him for all his "King Richard," I mean, Hitch money. #Oscars.”

He later referred to Questlove, who won best documentary for his film "Summer of Soul," and also dissed Will's punching technique,

“@questlove who deserved his moment without that toxic nonsense before him. I’m glad Chris is ok. Will learned nothing training for Ali. Will Smith’s punches are as soft as his raps. #Oscars.”

Jimmy Kimmel

The comedian, who previously hosted the Oscars in 2017 and 2018 tweeted on Sunday night.

"I know the big story is the slap, but congratulations to @amyschumer @iamwandasykes & Regina Hall who were very funny. I hope that isn't overshadowed by the unpleasantness #Oscars."

Sophia Bush

“Violence isn’t ok. Assault is never the answer,” the "One Tree Hill" alum shared on Twitter. “Also? This is the 2nd time that Chris has made fun of Jada on the #Oscars stage, & tonight he went after her alopecia. Punching down at someone’s auto-immune disease is wrong. Doing so on purpose is cruel. They both need a breather.”

Nick Viall

The "Bachelor" alum told US Weekly at an afterparty that the altercation was "way more dramatic" than Bachelor Nation Drama.

"I think most people just wondered if it was like a bit or a joke, if it was fake. I think pretty quickly we realized it was serious," said Viall.
"Chris Rock is there to be a comedian. He tells jokes, obviously, you know, there's always going to be some at the expense of people. ... Everyone has a right to feel though how they feel, and we have our hurt feelings, but how we handle our hurt feelings matters," Viall continued. "I don't know if Will handled it the best. But his performance [in King Richard] was amazing. Congrats to him for winning the Oscar, certainly well-deserved in his performance. It just — I feel like it took away from his moment. I feel like more people are going to be talking about that than his award. And that's unfortunate for everyone."

David Spade

"A GI Jane joke???" tweeted Rock's "Grownups" co-star about his remark.

Paul Scheer

After the LAPD made a statement claiming to not "have any details about the incident," The "Black Monday" star sarcastically tweeted,

"Hopefully some eye witnesses will step forward."

Conan O'Brien

“Just saw the Will Smith slap. Anyone have a late night show I can borrow just for tomorrow?” the former late-night host joked on Twitter

Shanola Hampton

The "Shameless" Star made her feelings about the slap clear tweeting,

“There is NEVER a justification for VIOLENCE! Never, ever, ever!!”

From our sponsors

From our partners

Top Stories