Will Smith had quite a night at the Oscars, having won Best Actor for King Richard. However, his more memorable part of the evening may have been slapping Chris Rock on the Oscars stage after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife, actress and singer Jada Pinkett Smith. Deadline explains that Rock made a joke regarding Pinkett Smith’s shaved head saying, “Jada, I love ya. GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see it.” While Will Smith initially laughed, though his wife did not seem amused, he then shocked everyone by stepping onto the stage and slapping Rock in the face. Afterward, Smith shouted to a visibly shocked Rock, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.” Pinkett Smith’s short hair is related to her battle with the autoimmune disorder alopecia. Rock reportedly apologized to the couple.
VIA JAPANESE TELEVISION: The uncensored exchange between Will Smith and Chris Rock pic.twitter.com/j0Z184ZyXa
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 28, 2022
Will Smith Addresses Slapping Rock in Oscars Acceptance Speech
Later on, the I Am Legend star won the Oscar for Best Actor for his work in King Richard in which he portrayed Richard Williams, tennis coach and father to Venus and Serena Williams. His emotional speech indirectly references the altercation with Rock several times:
“Richard Williams (who Smith portrayed) was a fierce defender of his family… And I know that 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 act like that’s okay… I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees… Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things… Thank you for this honor, thank you for this moment. And I hope the Academy invites me back. Thank you.”
What do you all think of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock on the Oscars stage? Is he taking a comedian’s joke too personally, or was he right to step in to defend his wife? Share your thoughts on The Nerd Stash Facebook page and @TheNerdStash on Twitter.