The highly anticipated 94th Academy Awards that kicked off in a grand manner on March 27 witnessed a shocking turn of events as famous Hollywood actor Will Smith slapped fellow actor and comedian Chris Rock.
In a video that is now viral, Chris Rock was about to present the Oscar Award for Best Documentary Feature category and he cracked a joke on actress Jada Pinkett Smith’s look, whose head was shaved.
Rock said jokingly, “Jada I love you, ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it.”
The camera then focussed on Pinkett Smith who rolled her eyes. She was sitting next to her husband Will Smith.
Will Smith slapped Chris Rock for joking about his wife Jada
Rock continued, “That was a nice one,” realising that the joke was in bad taste.
Pinkett Smith, The Matrix Resurrection star, has been candid about her struggle with alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss.
This joke was found offensive by her husband Will Smith who walked up to the stage and punched Rock on the stage of the 94th Academy Awards.
The audience was shocked to see this and they were confused if the assault was pre-planned as a joke. However, the organizers cut off the audio immediately just after Smith slapped Rock.
Smith came back to his seat and started screaming at Rock, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***king mouth!”.
According to CNN reporter Stephanie Elam, who was present in the audience, she confirmed that she heard the smack of Rock getting hit, and Smith yelled twice during the incident.
Rock said, “Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me. Wow, dude, It was a G.I. Jane joke. I’m going to, okay”.
Organizers of the event censored the audio as they both started yelling at each other, however, uncensored international feeds were able to capture the conversations between them.
Have a look at the uncensored video below:
After a few seconds, Rock then recovered and bounced back, addressing the audience saying, “the greatest night in the history of television.”
He then handed over the oscar for the best documentary feature to Summer of Soul, for which he was called upon the stage. His joke was referred to the 1997 film GI Jane, in which Demi Moore portrayed the title role with a buzzcut.
Apology by Will Smith
A few minutes later, Will Smith won the Oscar for Best Actor category. While accepting the award, he apologized to the Academy members and his fellow nominees.
He said in tears, “Love will make you do crazy things. I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people, and to be a river to my people. You’ve got to be able to take abuse, you’ve got to smile and pretend like that’s okay”.
Smith who apologized to the Academy, as well as his fellow nominees, concluded his address by saying, “I hope the Academy invites me back”.
According to sources, Rock approached the Smiths family and tendered his apology. Later, Denzel Washington got involved in the incident.
Presenter P. Diddy said, “Will, Chris, we are gonna solve that like a family at the gold party. For now, we will move on with love”.