The slap heard “around the world”. Will Smith stunned star-studded audiences — and everyone watching at home — when he took to the stage and banged Chris Rock in the face after the comedian made a ‘joke’ about Jada Pinkett Smith‘s hair loss at the 2022 Oscars on Sunday, March 27.
“Jada, I love you,” the comedian said from the stage, jokingly, “GI Jane 2can’t wait to see it,” referring to the actress’ buzzing head, as G.I. Jane Star Half Moore wore a similar style. (Pinkett Smith, 50, has often spoken openly about losing her hair from alopecia.)
As the camera passed over the Smiths, the King Richard The 53-year-old star – who went on to win the Best Actor Oscar – appeared to smile at Rock’s joke, while Pinkett Smith rolled her eyes intensely. Although it initially seemed like Smith was okay with the quip, he quickly took the stage and slapped the longest yard actor, 57, on the face. Once he got back to his seat, he yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”
“Wow. Will Smith just fucked me up,” Rock told the audience before presenting the award for Best Documentary.
For his part, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum later referenced — and apologized for — the altercation in his speech at his Oscar acceptance for King Richard.
“Oh, man. Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” Smith said, linking his behavior to that of Serena and Venus Williams‘ father, the role he played in the film. “I am called in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river for my people. I know to do what we do, you have to be able to take abuse. You have to be able to make people talk crazy about you. In this job, you have to be able to have people who disrespect you. And you have to smile, you have to pretend that you’re okay.
the 7 pounds The actor also apologized to several people for his behavior, though not explicitly to Rock.
“I want to apologize to the academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees,” he added. “Art imitates life: I look like the crazy dad. Just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.
He later apologized directly to the presenter the next day in a lengthy statement. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris,” Smith wrote via Instagram on March 28. “I was out of place and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love. and kindness.
The stars who were both in attendance and watching at home had a lot to say about the drama – from Rock’s ‘prank’ to Smith’s slap in the face. Scroll below to see how celebrities reacted to the incident: