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  4. Will Smith hit Chris Rock at the Oscars over a Jada Pinkett Smith joke. Here's everything that led to the altercation and what came after.

Will Smith hit Chris Rock at the Oscars over a Jada Pinkett Smith joke. Here's everything that led to the altercation and what came after.

Olivia Singh   

Will Smith hit Chris Rock at the Oscars over a Jada Pinkett Smith joke. Here's everything that led to the altercation and what came after.
  • Will Smith hit Chris Rock at the Oscars after the comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith.
  • Rock mocked Pinkett Smith's bald head, which she has said is the result of hair loss due to alopecia.

Will Smith slapped Chris Rock at the 94th Oscars on Sunday after the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, but it's not the first time the stars have been involved in controversial moments.

The incident took place at the Academy Awards, which was held at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California. While Smith finally won his first Oscar for "King Richard," two decades after he was first nominated for "Ali," most of the chatter about the actor was in reference to the explosive moment between him and Rock.

Here's a complete timeline of Smith and Rock's history and the fallout of their latest Oscars moment.

Smith and Rock were previously amicable

Rock guest-starred on season six of Smith's hit sitcom, "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." In an episode that aired in 1995, Rock played two characters: an actor named Maurice Perry and his sister named Jasmine Perry.

Both actors later appeared in Spike Jonze's 1999 mockumentary titled "Torrance Rises," based on the Torrance Community Dance Group.

At the 2005 Kids' Choice Awards, Rock presented Smith with the award for favorite voice from an animated movie for his character Oscar in "Shark Tale."

Pinkett Smith and Rock also voiced the characters Gloria and Marty, respectively, in the three animated "Madagascar" movies released between 2005 and 2012.

In 2012, Smith, Pinkett Smith, and Rock were photographed sitting courtside together at an NBA game at the TD Garden in Boston.

Rock made a joke about Pinkett Smith while hosting the 2016 Oscars

During his monologue, the comedian spoke about celebrities, like Pinkett Smith, boycotting the awards show due to a lack of diversity in the nominations.

"Jada got mad," he said. "Jada said she's not coming."

He continued: "Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties. I wasn't invited."

"Jada's mad her man Will was not nominated for 'Concussion.' I get it," Rock said. "It's not fair that Will was this good and didn't get nominated. You're right. It's also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for 'Wild Wild West.'"

Pinkett Smith later reacted to Rock's joke while at LAX, telling photographers and paparazzi: "Look, it comes with the territory, we gotta keep it moving. We got a lot of stuff we gotta handle, a lot of stuff going on in our world right now. We gotta keep it moving."

Rock commented on a photo posted by Smith in honor of ex-wife Sheree Zampino's birthday in 2018

A post shared by Will Smith (@willsmith)

"Happy Bday, @shereezampino. #BestBabyMamaEver! :-) I Love You, Ree-Ree," Smith captioned an old photo posted on Instagram, showing Smith, Zampino (with whom he was married from 1992 to 1995), and their son, Trey Smith.

Rock commented on the post by writing, "You have a very understanding wife," referring to Pinkett Smith, who has been married to Smith since 1997.

In response, Zampino replied to Smith and Rock, saying: "Awwwwwwwww...thank you baby daddy!!!!!! I love you back! And thank you @treysmith0011 for being the reason we came together. And to @jadapinkettsmith for being an understanding, secure, and absolutely AMAZING wife, mother, Bonus-mom, and Co-parenting partner!"

Smith attacked Rock at the 2022 Oscars after the comedian made a joke about Pinkett Smith's bald head

Pinkett Smith accompanied Smith, who was nominated for best actor for his portrayal of Richard Williams in "King Richard."

Rock appeared on stage to present the award for best documentary, which went to Questlove for "Summer of Soul." But before that, he made a few jokes, including one directed at Pinkett Smith.

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

Pinkett Smith had opened up about her hair loss due to the autoimmune disease alopecia on several previous occasions. During a 2018 episode of "Red Table Talk," the actress said that she decided to cut her hair because of her condition.

In December 2021, Pinkett Smith posted a video on Instagram showing her bald head and said, "Now at this point, I can only laugh. Y'all know I've been struggling with alopecia."

"This is going to be a little bit more difficult for me to hide," she added. "So I thought I'd just share it so y'all are not asking any questions."

Smith initially laughed at Rock's joke at the Oscars, but Pinkett Smith rolled her eyes and appeared unamused.

As the crowd laughed, Rock said, "That was a nice one, OK," and began moving on to his next joke. But then he noticed Smith rising from his seat and heading toward the stage.

Smith slapped Rock in the face and returned to his seat next to Pinkett Smith. Rock played off the attack, leading viewers to question whether the moment was staged or not.

In the seconds that followed, the two continued their spat but the broadcast was muted in America. However, the broadcasts in Australia and Japan didn't censor the moment.

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

Back in his seat, Smith shouted, "Keep my wife's name out of your fucking mouth!"

In response, Rock said: "Wow, dude. It was a 'G.I. Jane' joke."

"Keep my wife's name out of your fucking mouth!" Smith reiterated.

"I'm going to, OK," Rock said, seemingly unsure how to recover from the public dispute.

"That was the greatest night in the history of television, OK," he said, before turning his attention back to presenting the award.

Celebrities in attendance at the Oscars comforted Smith after the incident

Some stars posted their reactions on social media, while celebrities in attendance, like Lupita Nyong'o, who was seated behind Smith, appeared shocked by the scuffle.

Cohost Amy Schumer also made light of the situation by saying, "Did I miss anything? There's like a different vibe in here."

Sean "Diddy" Combs, who was the next presenter after Rock, said onstage: "Will and Chris, we're going to solve this like family. Right now we're moving on with love. Everybody make some noise."

Variety reported that Smith's publicist, Meredith O. Sullivan, went over to speak with the actor during the commercial break and "each" subsequent break.

Ramin Setoodeh, an executive editor at Variety who was in attendance, posted a video from inside the room and said that Smith and Pinkett Smith "have been holding hands since the Chris Rock incident."

Smith was also seen speaking with and embracing Tyler Perry and Bradley Cooper. He spoke with Denzel Washington, too.

Smith apologized to the Academy in his acceptance speech

"Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family," Smith began his five-minute-long speech, seemingly acknowledging the similarities between himself and the father of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams.

"I'm being called on in my life to love people, and to protect people, and to be a river to my people," Smith said. "I know to do what we do, you gotta be able to take abuse and you gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you gotta be able to have people disrespecting you, and you gotta smile and you gotta pretend like that's OK."

Smith also said that Washington told him during the show, "At your highest moment, be careful. That's when the devil comes for you."

The actor said that he wants "to be a vessel for love" and that "love will make you do crazy things."

"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."

Smith said that his win is "about being able to shine a light" on the people involved in the making of "King Richard."

He concluded his speech by saying, "I'm hoping the Academy invites me back."

Smith attended the Vanity Fair after-party, where he was seen dancing to 'Gettin' Jiggy With It'

Smith attended the after-party with Pinkett Smith, Jaden Smith, Willow Smith, and Trey Smith.

In a video posted on Twitter by Vanity Fair awards editor Katey Rich, the Oscar-winner was seen dancing to his own song.

After the Oscars ended, the Academy released a statement on Twitter

"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 statement reads.

Rock decided not to press charges against Smith

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

Smith reacted to his own Instagram post about choosing 'chaos' that was posted before the ceremony

A post shared by Will Smith (@willsmith)

Prior to the awards show, Smith posted videos and images of him and Pinkett Smith dressed up for the event. They posed for a couple of serious photos, but also made silly faces while snapping selfies.

"Me 'n @jadapinkettsmith got all dressed up to choose chaos," Smith captioned the Instagram post. Following his fight with Rock at the Oscars, Smith commented on his post and joked about his caption.

"You can't invite people from Philly or Baltimore nowhere!!" he said, referring to his and Pinkett Smith's hometowns.

People reported that Oscars organizers debated throwing Smith out after he slapped Rock

An anonymous industry source told People that "behind the scenes there were a lot of people, and different voices and bifurcated opinions, weighing in on what had just happened and what was the best and quickest course of action."

"People were also checking that Chris Rock was OK," they added.

"Basically there were just minutes to first figure out if it was a stunt and then try and get people on the same page — including the producers, ABC, the Academy, reps who were not all in the same place or all looking at their phones in real time, and even to see if Chris wanted to press charges," the source explains.

Sean 'Diddy' Combs claimed that Smith and Rock made up afterward

"That's not a problem. That's over. I can confirm that," Combs told Page Six at the Vanity Fair Oscars after-party.

"It's all love," he said. "They're brothers."

Celebrities proceeded to take sides, with some coming to Smith's defense and others condemning his behavior

Smith's son, Jaden Smith, seemingly reacted to the incident and supported his father when he tweeted: "And That's How We Do It."

In a since-deleted tweet, filmmaker Judd Apatow said that Smith could have killed Rock.

"He could have killed him," Apatow wrote. "That's pure out of control rage and violence. They've heard a million jokes about them in the last three decades. They are not freshman in the world of Hollywood and comedy. He lost his mind."

Tiffany Haddish, who starred alongside Pinkett Smith in the 2017 movie "Girls Trip," defended Smith.

"When I saw a Black man stand up for his wife. That meant so much to me," she told People at the Governors Ball following the ceremony.

"As a woman, who has been unprotected, for someone to say, 'Keep my wife's name out your mouth, leave my wife alone,' that's what your husband is supposed to do, right? Protect you," Haddish said.

On Monday, the Academy said it's launching a formal review over Smith slapping Rock

"The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night's show," a spokesperson for the organization said in a statement shared by Variety and The Hollywood Reporter. "We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law."

It's unlikely that Academy will take Smith's Oscar away, but he may face some kind of consequence for his actions.

Smith publicly apologized, calling his behavior 'unacceptable and inexcusable'

"Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive," the actor said in a lengthy statement posted on Instagram on Monday. "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 continued: "I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. 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."

"I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees, and everyone watching around the world," Smith said. "I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us."

"I am a work in progress," he concluded his apology.


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