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Will Smith hits Chris Rock on Oscar stage after Jada Pinkett Smith joke gone wrong

Will Smith stripped of Oscar
Will Smith could be stripped of Oscar for Best Actor after slapping comedian Chris Rock after Jada Pinkett Smith joke didn't sit well with actor.
Will Smith slaps Chris Rock Oscars
Will Smith slaps Chris Rock on Oscar stage after Jada Pinkett Smith joke gone wrong.

Will Smith slaps Chris Rock on Oscar stage after Jada Pinkett Smith joke gone wrong as attendees watch on in horror, with the actor later defending and apologizing for his actions during his Best Actor win. 

In what initially appeared to be part of a ‘comic routine’, actor Will Smith hit Chris Rock in the face on stage at the Oscars after the comic made a joke about the actor’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith. It was only a few short moments later that the world looking on realized it was anything but a joke …

‘Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2,’ Rock had said a few minutes earlier, in an apparent reference to Pinkett Smith’s shaved hairdo – which is a result of the hair loss condition alopecia that the actress suffers from. 

Viewers and audience members believing it was all ‘part of an act,’ witnessed Smith walk on stage as if to ‘mock confront’ Rock, only to suddenly strike the comic on the face in front of aghast attendees before returning to his seat and proceeding to shout: ‘Keep my wife’s name out of your [expletive] mouth.’

At first the moment seemed like a joke or some kind of set-up. Smith even appeared to laugh at first after Rock delivered his line about his wife looking like GI Jane.

Rock’s joke referred to 1997 film GI Jane, in which actress, Demi Moore played the title role with a severe buzzcut.

Could Will Smith lose his Oscar after hitting Chris Rock?

‘Keep my wife’s name out your [expletive] mouth,’

Jada looked annoyed, but at this point it was still assumed this was all part of some kind of pre-planned routine. Audience members and viewers at home would soon find out otherwise… 

Doubt began to creep in when Smith rose from his seat and hit Rock on the stage. While both men are veterans of film and television, and would know how to carry out a fake stage slap – the slap didn’t look that fake. 

It had to be scripted right?

By the time Smith was sitting back in his seat and shouting to Rock to ‘keep my wife’s name out your [expletive] mouth,’ (twice!) it was by now very clear this was no sketch. A professional like Smith would know better than to drop the F-bomb on stage during a live TV broadcast.

Viewers at home didn’t hear the swearing. Broadcast network ABC had cut the live feed to avoid offending viewers at home.

Rock, meanwhile, looked visibly shaken. But, realising he’d just made Oscars history, he made light of the situation, ever retaining his poise and aplomb, nonchalantly commenting (and proving why he gets paid the big bucks): ‘That was the greatest night in the history of television.’

Rock then handed over the best documentary prize, which was the reason he was on stage.

‘Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father’ 

Smith who would ironically go on and win best actor (less than an hour later) during his acceptance speech referenced the incident, where he on one hand defended his actions while also apologizing for his behavior. 

‘I want to apologise to the Academy. I want to apologise to my all my fellow nominees,’ he said during a tearful acceptance speech for best actor.

Smith picked up the first Oscar of his career for playing the father of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams in King Richard.

‘Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things,’ the actor said. 

Conspicuous was the lack of apology for Chris Rock, the individual the actor assaulted.

The Los Angeles Police Department later told Variety that Rock had ‘declined to file a police report’ following the event.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which organises the Oscars, tweeted that it ‘does not condone violence of any form’.