Just moments after a shocking on-stage incident at Sunday night’s (March 27) 2022 Academy Awards in which Will Smith stormed the stage and smacked comedian Chris Rock across the face, Diddy promised that he would help broker the peace. The rap impresario with the ever-shifting stage name — who most recently has taken to referring to himself as “Love” — was ostensibly in the house to set up a 50th anniversary tribute to The Godfather trilogy.
But given the elephant in the room, he pivoted to playing peacemaker after giving hosts Amy Schumer, Regina Hall and Wanda Sykes props for their hosting duties at what he called the “most exciting Oscars ever!” In keeping with his kumbaya moniker, Diddy promised, “OK, Will and Chris, we’re going to solve that like family at the Gold Party, OK? But right now we are moving on with love. Everybody make some noise!”
Diddy seemed to be referring to his determination to make the peace at an Oscar afterparty, and, true to his word, Sean Combs reportedly told Page Six that that is exactly what he did. Combs told the gossip column that Smith and Rock worked it out at the Vanity Fair afterparty. “That’s not a problem. That’s over. I can confirm that,” Diddy, 52, reportedly said, without giving any details on how Smith, 53, and Rock, 57, allegedly made nice.
“It’s all love,” Diddy said. “They’re brothers.”
Presenting the award for best documentary feature, Rock took the stage with some playful jabs at celebs in the audience. After making jokes about Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz and Denzel Washington, Rock said, “Jada, I love you, G.I Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,” seemingly referring to the actress’s bald head. Pinkett Smith previously opened up about living with alopecia — an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss — in 2018, and more recently in a December Instagram video.
Though Smith seemed to laugh at first, the actress frowned and did not seem amused. The actor then jumped up from his seat soon after and walked onto the stage in what seemed at first to be a planned comedic bit, albeit one that did not seem to land very well with the in-house audience. But after Smith appeared to angrily slap Rock in the face, the stunned-looking comedian stammered a bit, then remarked, “Will Smith just smacked the s–t out of me,” which was followed by a long silence on the live broadcast in which the actor repeatedly demanded that the comedian “keep my wife’s name out of your f—ing mouth.” Unedited international broadcasts of the incident provided the heated audio in full.
Rock, typically, fast on his feet, seemed thrown off, bungling his introduction of the category as the gravity of the bizarre incident set in and he tried to recover. According to the LAPD, the comedian has declined to press charges against Smith. “LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,” the department said in a statement shared with Billboard on Monday morning (March 28). “The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”
Smith — who apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees during his acceptance speech for best actor for King Richard a short time later, but pointedly not to Rock — was later pictured at the VF event with wife Jada Pinkett Smith and children, Jaden, 23 and Willow, 21, dancing and rapping along to his hits, including “Summertime,” “Miami” and “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It.”