Why Will Smith Slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars

Will Smith strikes Chris Rock across the face for making jokes about his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith


Rock was onstage at the Oscars to present Best Documentary, and true to form as a stand-up comic, he began saying lots of barbs to the audience. After making a quip about Denzel Washington, Rock turned his attention to Jada Pinkett Smith, saying he was looking forward to seeing her in G.I. Jane II. (Pinkett Smith was sporting a buzzcut, just like Demi Moore’s character in the 1997 film G.I. Jane).

However, Pinkett Smith has been verbal about her struggles with hair loss and bald spots caused by alopecia. “Mama’s gonna have to take it down to the scalp so nobody thinks she got brain surgery or something,” she wrote on Instagram in December. “Me and this alopecia are going to be friends … period!”


Pinkett rolled her eyes after Rock made a joke of her. The Oscars telecast then went mute for a spell as Smith walked up the stage and hit Rock on the face. The incident went really viral in Japan and other countries. “Will Smith just smacked he sh-t out of me,” said a stunned Rock. Smith responded: “Keep my wife’s name out your f-cking mouth,” and repeated the phrase again.

But Later in the evening, Smith won his first Oscar for his role of portraying Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena Williams, in King Richard. While delivering his acceptance speech, Smith apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees, and drew parallels between himself and Williams, saying he was standing up for his family.

“I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees,” he said before adding, “Just like they said, I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.”

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