The Oscars were moving along fine until comedian Chris Rock appeared to poke fun at Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head during his monologue on Sunday night. Her husband, Will Smith, didn’t think it was funny.
Rock’s jokes started benignly. The star-studded audience cracked up as he spoke about actress Penelope Cruz and her husband being nominated for awards. The veteran funnyman said that her husband hoped Smith would win, so there would be no contention.
The night went left after Rock took a shot at Pinkett Smith. In July, the actress shared that she has alopecia after revealing a bald head.
“I love, ya. G.I. Jane 2 can’t wait to see it. Aight?” the comedian said, pointing at the actress. Pinkett Smith was seemingly not amused at the cheap shot and rolled her eyes as the audience laughed. Initially, her husband laughed, also.
Seeing the Jason’s Lyric actress’ reaction, Rock shrugged, saying, “That was a nice one.”
Rock proceeded with his monologue as the I Am Legend actor walked on the stage.
“Uh oh, Richard,” he says through laughter.
At that moment, Smith reportedly smacked fire from Rock and exited the stage. Although the comedian and the audience were caught off guard, Rock didn’t miss a beat.
“Wow! Wow! Will Smith just smacked the sh*t outta me.”
From his seat, the Bad Boys actor yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out your f*cking mouth.”
“Yeah,” Smith continued.\
“It was G.I. Jane joke,”
The rapper repeated the warning.
Rock responded, “I’m going to, ok?”
Still shaken, the Everybody Hates Chris actor referenced the moment as the greatest moment in television history.
Can’t believe what I just saw live on screen pic.twitter.com/YiijPRQENt
— Guy Springthorpe (the pistol slug) (@GuySpringthorpe) March 28, 2022
The clip quickly went viral on Twitter. Reactions varied on the social media platform.
After Chris Rock got hit by Will Smith for his “joke,” I better not hear entertainers whine about cancel culture and “it’s just jokes.”
“Jokes” can still be harmful and offensive. #Oscars
— Ernest Owens (@MrErnestOwens) March 28, 2022
NIGGA!! Did Will Smith just son Chris Rock on national damn TV? I feel torn… I ain’t ever mad about a brother defending his wife AND Chris Rock is a comedian… Just WOW! #TheOscars2022 #TheOscars #WillSmith #ChrisRock pic.twitter.com/ECLK1YVLdK
— Keka Araújo (@KAraujoNWT) March 28, 2022
Will Smith’s Greatest Hits
4) Bad Boys
3) Men in Black
2) Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
1) Chris Rock #Oscars
— Chris Hilling (@cityonahilling) March 28, 2022
What just happened at #Oscars between Chris Rock and Will Smith?
After the punch, tv went silent. Then everyone watching can read Will’s mouth.
Not so fine moment. pic.twitter.com/od7oMEKiey
— Novelette Dryden (@DrydenNovelette) March 28, 2022
— Marc (@MostlyMarky) March 28, 2022
If @willsmith seriously did that — and he wins the OSCAR — he just stained the greatest moment of his career. You cannot do that S$&@!!Especially as a BLACK MAN, in that position, to ANOTHER BLACK MAN(@chrisrock) on THAT STAGE. If this was not a joke, Will won’t live this down!!!
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) March 28, 2022
Not a fan of violence, but I got to say I respect a man who stands up for his wife. He humiliated the man who humiliated her. Fair play? What do you all think?
— Carlos Figueredo 🍄 (@Carsperi) March 28, 2022
Smith did win an award for King Richard. Recognizing that the incident wasn’t his finest moment, he apologized.
“I want to apologize to the Academy, and I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees — this is a beautiful moment, and I’m not crying about winning an award… it’s about being able to shine light.”
He recognized his castmates and the team that made the film possible and spoke about protecting them.
Will Smith apologizes for his incident with Chris Rock during his acceptance speech for Best Actor at the #Oscars:
“Love makes you do crazy things… I hope The Academy invites me back.” https://t.co/txHp3uLljK
— Pop Crave (@PopCrave) March 28, 2022
“Love makes you do crazy things… I hope The Academy invites me back,” he said.
“In this business, you gotta be able to have people disrespecting you. And you gotta smile and pretend like that’s okay.”
Will Smith winning best actor at the Academy Awards. 🏆
— In My Mind (@MeAloneInMyMind) March 28, 2022