Why Will Smith Hit Chris Rock at the Oscars – and What He Said

In the final hour of an otherwise sleepy Oscars TV show, a moment of shock and chaos ensued. You’d be forgiven for missing it between shaky camera angles and muted audio, but Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on live TV. Minutes later, Smith won her first-ever Oscar.

“I had no idea this would be the most exciting Oscars ever,” Diddy gushed shortly after.

Here is what happened.

Chris Rock appeared at the Oscars to announce the winner for Best Documentary. Before announcing the nominees, he went through a little comedic joke about some of the nominees, and his attention seemed to latch on to Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, seated up front in a green dress with a shaved head. .

“Jada, I love you,” Rock said. “GI Jane 2I can’t wait to see it, okay? »

Pinkett’s face turned stone and Smith stood up, walked onto the stage and slapped Rock in the face. Audio from the American broadcast aired at that time, but it continued uncensored in other countries, including Japan and Australia.

“Wow! Wow!” Rock said, rocking slightly as Smith strode back to his seat. “Will Smith just scared the hell out of me, everyone.”

“Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth,” Smith shouted from the audience.

“Wow, man,” Rock said. “It was a G.I. Jane joke.”

“Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth,” Smith repeated.

“I will. Alright?” says Rock. He paused for a second, in a double take, and the audio in the United States came back just in time to catch him saying, “It was the greatest night in television history. Agreed. Alright.” Then he continued with the presentation of the Oscar (which went to soul summermade by Questlove).

Minutes later, Smith won the Best Actor Oscar for his performance in King Richardin which he plays Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena Williams.

“Richard Williams was a fierce advocate for his family,” Smith began as he took the stage. “At this time in my life, I am overwhelmed with what God is calling me to do and be in this world.”

Smith wept throughout her speech, which ranged from a defense of her actions to an apology to the Academy to an elation of Richard Williams.

“I want to apologize to the Academy,” he said. “I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. It’s a beautiful moment. And I’m not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me. It’s about to be able to shed light on everyone.

Smith went on to say he wanted to “raise” the stories of people like Richard Williams, who were protecting those he loved.

Pinkett Smith was diagnosed with alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss. She first went public with her diagnosis in 2018 on her Facebook Live show Red table discussion.

“It was terrifying when it started,” she said at the time. “I was in the shower one day and I only had a handful of hair in my hands and I was like, ‘Oh my god, am I going bald?'”

In July 2021, Pinkett Smith shaved her head, saying her daughter Willow convinced her “it was time to let go”.

Rock knows the controversial politics surrounding black women’s hair. In 2009, he produced and starred in the documentary good hairabout how black women have historically thought about and styled their hair.

Rock has also targeted Pinkett Smith in his Oscars humor before. When Rock hosted the Oscars in 2016, it was amid the #OscarsSoWhite protests, and Pinkett Smith was one of many big black celebrities who had pledged to boycott the Oscars to protest their lack of diversity.

“Jada got angry, said she wouldn’t come. Jada boycotts the Oscars, it’s like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited,” Rock said.

“Art imitates life,” Smith said during her acceptance speech. “I look like the crazy dad, like they said. But love will make you do crazy things.

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