Will Smith Smacks Chris Rock at Oscars Following Joke About Jada Pinkett
Will Smith hit Chris Rock in the face while the comedian was on stage presenting an award at the 2022 Academy Awards.
Rock took the stage at Dolby Theatre to announce the winner for the Best Documentary Feature. In the process, he poked fun at Jada Pinkett Smith, who looked stunning in an emerald gown in the audience.
"Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see it," he joked, seemingly in reference to her shaved head. For those who might not be aware, G.I. Jane was a 1997 film that starred Demi Moore, who appeared with a shaved head for the role.
Unfortunately for Rock, the joke did not land well with the Smith family.
Jada appeared visibly upset from her seat. Will, meanwhile, took to the stage, hauled back and appeared to hit the jokester in the face.
After that, the U.S. stream of the broadcast went silent to censor Will and Rock's back and forth.
Watch the moment as it aired in the U.S. below:
An Australian broadcast of the apparently heated altercation offered more insight into what actually went down on stage.
"Wow," Rock said moments after he took a hit. "Will Smith just smacked the s--t out of me."
"Keep my wife's name out your f---ing mouth," Will could be heard shouting several times.
Listen to the back and forth below:
Social media came alive in the moments following Will's reaction with many wondering whether it was candid or staged.
One user pointed out that Jada had previously spoken about suffering from a condition that caused hair loss. "Me and this alopecia are going to be friends," she wrote on Instagram in Dec. 2021. See the post below:
Others noted that Jada and Will were seen holding hands in their seats after Rock's joke. It also appeared that Tyler Perry and Denzel Washington comforted Will during a commercial break.
Smith appeared to subtly acknowledge the moment later while picking up the Oscar for Best Actor. He won for his role in King Richard.
"Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family," he said during his emotional speech. It's easy to draw parallels between the character and the fight that seemingly took place moments before, during which the actor defended his wife.
Watch his teary and emotional acceptance speech below:
It has been alleged that producers asked onsite press to focus backstage interviews on actors' awards and nothing else following the heated moment, possibly be in an attempt to focus on the actual show instead of the drama.
That didn't stop social media from going off, though.
Check out some reactions to the viral moment below: