Amidst the glitz, glamor and awards given out during Sunday evening’s Oscars (March 27), there was one moment that had the audience’s jaws on the floor — when Will Smith appeared to smack Chris Rock in the face on live television.
Presenting the award for best documentary feature, Rock was on stage throwing some jokes out at the celebrities in the audience. He made a jab at Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz for being nominated on the same night, as well as joking that Denzel Washington as Macbeth had said “King Lear ain’t got nothing on me.”
But the comment that seemed to set things off was when he looked over to Jada Pinkett-Smith and 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.
After Rock’s joke, Smith walked up to where the comedian was standing on stage, and appeared to hit Rock in the face. While Rock exclaimed and continued laughing at the joke, the audio cut out for American audiences. Uncensored clips of the moment quickly began showing up online, where Rock said, “Will Smith just smacked the s–t out of me.”
As Rock tried to continue his speech, Smith — back in his seat — began yelling at Rock to “keep my wife’s name out your f–king mouth.” While the comedian continued to assure him that he would, and that “it was a G.I. Jane joke,” Smith got angrier, and yelled the same sentence much louder.
This is not the first time that Chris Rock and Jada Pinkett-Smith have clashed over his comments at the Oscars. When Rock hosted in 2016 and Pinkett-Smith was boycotting the event over the “Oscars So White” controversy, Rock joked at the event, “Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.” She later responded, “Hey, look, it comes with the territory. We gotta keep it moving.”
Check out the uncensored moment below, as well as some Twitter reactions to the shocking moment.
VIA JAPANESE TELEVISION: The uncensored exchange between Will Smith and Chris Rock pic.twitter.com/j0Z184ZyXa
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 28, 2022
will smith cursing on live television after punching Chris on stage and lupita realising it’s not scripted #Oscars pic.twitter.com/Hh2hYr3kcC
— ًSaanvi (@hoaxxcorp) March 28, 2022
Everyone at the #Oscars just now with Will Smith: pic.twitter.com/eJ6Yubje1d
— Xiomara Ramirez (@LadyXioG) March 28, 2022
The #Oscars producers after Will Smith hit Chris Rock, knowing people are going to finally talk about the show again… pic.twitter.com/51kfLiSWvt
— MovieRankings.net (@LightsCameraPod) March 28, 2022