The slap heard ‘round the world. Will Smith stunned the star-studded audience — and everyone watching at home — when he took to the stage and smacked Chris Rock across the face after the comedian made a “joke” about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair loss at the 2022 Oscars on Sunday, March 27.
“Jada, I love you,” the comedian said from the stage, quipping, “G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,” referring to the actress’ buzzed head, as G.I. Jane star Demi Moore wore a similar style. (Pinkett Smith, 50, has often been open about losing her hair due to alopecia.)
Will Smith’s apology thereafter after receiving the Best Actor for the Night.
“I want to apologize to the academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees,” he added. “Art imitates life: I look like the crazy father. Just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.”
He later apologized directly to the presenter the following day in a lengthy statement. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris,” Smith wrote via Instagram on March 28. “I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”
“I just sat down ’cause I was like, ‘I gotta put that drink down,’” the tennis star — whose father, Richard Williams, was depicted by Smith in King Richard — said via a since-deleted Instagram Story.
Ana Navarro didn’t mince words. “Hitting somebody is a crime, a crime of assault. While she called Rock’s quip “a lame joke, a joke in very poor taste,” she believes the slap and the remark were “not equivalent.” Joy Behar discussed the impact on comedians. “They want us [comedians] to be edgy, to go out there and say what everyone’s thinking … and then they get mad.”
“There is only so much one can take… sometimes you have to slap back,” the actress, who portrayed Aunt Viv on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, tweeted. “Celebrate the win… nothing else matters. Both actions were incorrect but Chris didn’t need to go there.”
The entrepreneur attempted to play peacemaker after the incident when presenting The Godfather tribute on stage. “OK, Will and Chris, we’re going to solve that like family at the Gold Party, OK?” the rapper said. “But right now we are moving on with love. Everybody make some noise!”
“And That’s How We Do It,”