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Trevor Noah opens the Grammys by taking a jab at Chris Rock and Will Smith's Oscars exchange

Olivia Singh   

Trevor Noah opens the Grammys by taking a jab at Chris Rock and Will Smith's Oscars exchange
  • The 2022 Grammy Awards took place Sunday, and Trevor Noah hosted.
  • He opened the show by making a joke referencing Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars.

Trevor Noah, the host of the 2022 Grammy Awards, took a jab at Will Smith and Chris Rock's exchange at the Oscars.

"It is going to be such a beautiful evening," Noah said at the start of the ceremony, held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday.

"Don't even think of this as an award show," he added. "This is a concert where we're giving out awards. We're going to be listening to some music, we're going to be dancing, we're going to be singing, we're going to be keeping people's names out of our mouths, and we're going to be giving out awards all throughout the night."

Noah's joke about "keeping people's names out of our mouths" followed the most talked-about moment from Academy Awards on March 27, which was held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

At the show, Rock appeared onstage to present the award for best documentary, which went to Questlove for "Summer of Soul." Before announcing the winner, he made a joke directed at Jada Pinkett Smith, who was in attendance to support Will Smith, a nominee.

"Jada, I love ya. 'GI Jane 2,' can't wait to see it," Rock said in reference to her bald head.

Smith, nominated for his role as Richard Williams in "King Richard," initially laughed at Rock's joke, but Pinkett Smith rolled her eyes and appeared unamused.

As the crowd laughed, Rock said: "That was a nice one, OK." He then began moving on to his next joke. But Smith rose from his seat next to his wife and approached Rock on the stage.

Smith slapped Rock in the face and returned to his seat, while the comedian played off the attack.

"Oh, wow! Wow. Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me," Rock said as Smith walked away.

"Keep my wife's name out of your fucking mouth," Smith shouted from his seat, twice.

Later, when Smith went onstage to accept the Academy Award for best actor, he apologized for his behavior.

"I want to apologize to the academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees," Smith said. "This is a beautiful moment, and I'm not crying for winning an award."

The actor said his win was "about being able to shine a light" on the people involved in the making of "King Richard."

Rock declined to file a police report against Smith, according to a statement released by the Los Angeles Police Department.

On Monday, the academy said it would launch a formal review into Smith slapping Rock to "explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law."

Smith went on to release another apology on Instagram that day, saying: "Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive.

"My behavior at last night's Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada's medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally."

He also publicly apologized to Rock, saying: "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."

On Friday, Smith resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

"I have directly responded to the Academy's disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct," Smith said in a statement to Variety.

"Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason," he added.


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