At the Oscars, Chris Rock made a joke about the “King Richard” star’s wife, which prompted Will Smith to strike him onstage.
When he presented an award to Jada during Sunday’s Oscar ceremony in Los Angeles, Rock said, “I love you, Jada, and I can’t wait to see G.I. Smith.” He was referring to Pinkett Smith, whose bald head resembled the character in Demi Moore’s 1997 film “GI Jane.”
According to reports, Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia areata, a disease associated with hair loss.
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Smith then approached Rock as the audience applauded, climbing the steps to the Oscar stage. Later, the 53-year-old actor hit the stunned Rock before returning to his seat.
In the U.S. broadcast, the audio feed for the awards ceremony cut out as Rock and Smith exchanged words.
According to clips posted on Twitter, Rock yelled, “Wow, Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me,” before walking away.
Then Smith yelled at Rock: “Don’t mention my wife’s name!”
The 57-year-old Rock said, “That was the best night in television history,” before dropping all references to the incident on air.
Also Read: Jada Pinkett Smith Joke
Later, Smith was seen smiling and cheering during the awards show.
A post-awards show party saw rapper Diddy say, “Will and Chris, we will fix that like family.”
As Smith applauded, Diddy said, “But we are moving forward with love for now.”
Smith was awarded the Oscar for “Best Actor” minutes after the altercation.
Smith said that the title role he played in “King Richard,” the film about the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, was an avid defender of his family.
Without mentioning Rock, Smith appeared to refer to the incident, saying through tears, “You have to be able to take the punishment if you want to do what we do.”
Having people talk crazy about you is part of the game.
To be successful in this business, you need to be able to handle disrespect, and you have to smile and pretend like it’s okay, “Smith said.
He then said, ”I apologize to the Academy and to all my fellow nominees. I want to be a vessel for love.”
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