During the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday, Men In Black actor Will Smith took the stage to slap comedian Chris Rock before returning back to his seat. Reportedly, the slap was a result of Rock making a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith.
Smith stormed on stage after Rock made a joke about Pinkett-Smith’s bald head, referring to her look being fit for a sequel of the film G.I. Jane.
“Jada I love you, ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it” said Rock while presenting an award.
Actress Demi Moore shaved her head for her role in the 1997 film G.I. Jane and Pinkett-Smith has a similar haircut due to suffering from alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that results in hair loss.
Smith, 53, laughed from his seat while Pinkett Smith, 50, appeared unimpressed.
After Smith took the stage to slap Rock, he returned to his seat and yelled at the comedian “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—ing mouth!”, although the Oscars live stream muted it in the United States, other broadcast channels in other countries heard every word.
“Wow, dude, it was a G.I. Jane joke,” said Rock yet Smith replied once again, “Keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth!”
Rock replied back “I’m going to, okay?” before also stating “That was the … greatest night in the history of television” and presenting the award.
Moments later, Sean “P Diddy” Combs addressed the situation while taking the stage to introduce the 50th anniversary celebration to “The Godfather.”
“Will and Chris, we’re going to solve that like family at the Gold Party, ok, but right now we’re moving on with love,” said Diddy.
Later on that night, Smith apologized while accepting his best actor award for his role as Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena Williams in the film King Richard.
“I want to apologize to the academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees,” said Smith. He also mentioned how he hopes the Academy welcomes him back.
Smith also shared that prior to his Oscar win, nominee Denzel Washington gave him a word of advice: “At your highest moment be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.”
The Academy tweeted that they do not condone violence. “The Academy does not condone violence of any form,” the tweet read. “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.”