Chris Rock got slapped by Will Smith at the 94th annual Academy Awards on March 22, after he made a cruel joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith starring in a potential sequel for G.I. Jane because of her bald head.
It all started when Chris came out on stage to present an award, and while he was standing in front of the audience, he took a random dig at Jada and her bald head. At first, Will and Jada, who sat close to the stage, both laughed, but within a matter of seconds, Will was up on stage, walking towards Chris. And once they came face-to-face, Will seemingly slapped the comedian. As Will went to exit the stage, Chris said, “Wow, Will Smith just smacked the s*** out of me.”
VIA JAPANESE TELEVISION: The uncensored exchange between Will Smith and Chris Rock pic.twitter.com/j0Z184ZyXa
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 28, 2022
Once Will got back to his seat, he yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth”. Chris quickly said, “I’m going to, okay?”, but most of the exchange was bleeped out of the live telecast on US television screens. The full unedited version, which aired on Australian and Japanese TVs, can be seen above.
Jada has been open about suffering from alopecia and she’s been vocal about her struggle with hair loss, so it’s possible Will thought that Chris’s joke crossed a line.
After Chris and Will finished their heated exchange, the comedian carried on without making too much of a fuss about the situation. And after reading the winner of his award out loud, he exited the stage. But he managed to call it the “greatest night in the history of television” before doing so.
According to a Twitter user, Will Smith was pulled aside and comforted by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry during the next commercial break. They allegedly told Will to brush it off, as the actor — who went on to win the Best Actor Oscar for his role in King Richard — wiped tears from his eyes. He then sat back down next to Jada, who was being comforted by Denzel.