During the 2022 Oscars last night, actor and comedian Chris Rock took the stage to present one of the awards. Beforehand, he took the time to joke about a few of the celebrity couples in the audience, one of whom was actor Will Smith and actress Jada Pinkett Smith.
“Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see ya,” Rock said. This joke was a reference to Pinkett Smith’s recent announcement that she has spent many years struggling with the medical condition alopecia, causing consistent hair loss, which Rock likened to a military officer with a shaved head.
Following this joke, Smith left his seat, walked up to the stage, and smacked Rock in the face with an open palm. Smith returned to his seat, then shouted at Rock “Keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth!” Rock was startled, but seemed ultimately unbothered by the incident, going on to present the award as intended.
Chris Rock Declines to File Police Report After Will Smith Slaps Him at 2022 Oscars, LAPD Confirms https://t.co/6Vq6cRUjYc
— People (@people) March 28, 2022
Later in the night, when Smith accepted an award for Best Actor in King Richard, Smith apologized to the Academy for his behavior. “Art imitates life: I look like the crazy father. Just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.”
“Being able to love and care for my mother and my family, my wife … Thank you for this honor. Thank you for this moment. … I hope the Academy invites me back.”
Following the show, the police arrived on the scene to question Rock and Smith, but Rock declined to file a report or press charges.