In one of the most shocking moments in Oscars history, Will Smith stormed onstage and slapped presenter Chris Rock for a joke the comic made about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith (video below).
The drama began while Rock was presenting best documentary during the 2022 ceremony. Rock made a crack about Pinkett Smith getting ready to film a sequel to G.I. Jane — an apparent reference to the actress having a shaved head. (Pinkett Smith has been open about her hair loss due to alopecia.)
“Jada, I love ya,” Rock said. “G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it. All right?”
Smith laughed, though looking a bit uncomfortable. Pinkett Smith rolled her eyes and glared at Rock.
Hearing disapproval from the crowd, Rock implored, “That was a nice one!”
That’s when Smith stood up, stormed onstage and smacked a stunned Rock in the face.
As Smith went back to his seat, Rock marveled, “Wow, wow … Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me.”
“Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth!” Smith roared, again seated in the audience.
“Wow dude, it was a G.I. Jane joke,” Rock said, which prompted Smith to repeat his demand.
Looking visibly shaken, Rock paused for a moment and then told the crowd: “That was a — Greatest night in the history of television” and then continued along with his presenter moment.
During the next commercial break, Smith was pulled aside and comforted by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry, who motioned for him to brush it off. Smith appeared to wipe tears from his eyes as he sat back down with Pinkett Smith.