It was the slap heard around the world as Will Smith marched on stage during the 94th Academy Awards and delivered a smack to presenter Chris Rock after a joke Rock made about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, did not land so well with the couple.
Here’s everything we know so far.
The slap occurred after Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith
Rock made a joke about Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, referring to her as “GI Jane.” Pinkett Smith revealed in 2018 that she suffers from alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes sufferers to lose their hair.
She gave an update on Instagram in December about her condition. “Now at this point, I can only laugh,” Pinkett Smith said in a video she posted to her story at the time.
When Rock made the joke, Pinkett Smith was not amused, and when her husband noticed, his entire face dropped before he headed towards the stage.
Chris Rock made fun of Jada and Will Smith got on stage to slap him and cursed him from his seat after. Live feed stopped on Astro because. Not scripted. Audience stunned. #Oscars pic.twitter.com/F5dN4prPfY
Prior to smacking Rock across the face, Smith reportedly said, “Leave my wife’s name out of your f ** king mouth.” Rock made a joke about it after Smith walked back to his seat and appeared to be in good spirits.
The Academy makes a statement on social media
The Academy tweeted out a response to the incident shortly after it occurred, asserting that the organization “does not condone violence.”
The Academy does not condone violence of any form.
Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.
– The Academy (@TheAcademy) March 28, 2022
Smith won best actor and apologized during his speech
In an emotional speech, Smith talked about being a “vessel for love” and his challenges working in the industry.
“I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people. Now I know, to do what we do, you’ve got to be able to take abuse, ”Smith told the crowd. “You got to be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you’ve got to be able to have people disrespecting you, and you’ve got to smile, and you’ve got to pretend like that’s OK. What I loved – Denzel [Washington] said to me a few minutes ago, he said, ‘At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.’ ”
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He then apologized to both the Academy and his fellow nominees, making a note that “art imitates life” before comparing himself to the “crazy father” archetype that Richard Williams embodied. He did not apologize to Rock.
“I hope the Academy invites me back,” Smith said.
Chris Rock will not be pressing charges against Smith
The LAPD released a statement revealing that Rock will not be taking any legal action against Smith.
“LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,” the organization said. “The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the party involved desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”
Smith was seen dancing with his Oscar statuette at the after party
During the famed Vanity Fair Oscars afterparty, Smith appeared to be in good spirits while bopping around to his hit ’90s song “Summertime.”
– Ramin Setoodeh (@RaminSetoodeh) March 28, 2022
Page Six also reported that Rock and Smith made plans to make amends, citing sources, though the report was unconfirmed.