Will Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars after taking offense to a joke he told about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith.
Rock presented Best Documentary and, true to his stand-up comedy style, began to send barbs to the audience. Rock made a joke about Denzel Washington and then turned his attention towards Jada Pinkett Smith. He said he looked forward to meeting her. G.I. Jane II. (Pinkett-Smith was sporting a buzzcut, just like Demi Moore’s character in the 1997 film G.I. Jane). Pinkett Smith has spoken out about her hair loss struggles and the bald spots she experiences due to 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-Smith rolled her eyes after Rock’s joke. As Smith marched to the stage, Smith’s Oscars telecast was muted for some time. This whole episode was broadcast on telecasts from Japan and other nations. “Will Smith just smacked he sh-t out of me,” said a stunned Rock. Smith responded: “Keep your wife’s name out my f-cking mouth,” and repeated the phrase.
This moment caused an outcry on Twitter and sent Dolby Theater into panic. A few minutes later, P Diddy tried to defuse the situation, saying: “Will and Chris, we’re going to solve this like family at the Gold Party.”
You can follow us @Twitter Vanity FairRebecca Ford reports that Washington played the role of mediator.
It’s not the first time Rock has made a joke at the couple’s expense at the Oscars. Rock brought up the couple when he hosted the Oscars 2016 in context of the #OscarsSoWhite protest, which Pinkett Smith supported. “Jada’s going to boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna‘s panties. I wasn’t invited!” he said.
Many jokes were also directed towards Smith and Pinkett Smith during the previous night. When co-host Regina Hall delivered a bit insinuating she wanted to sleep with many of the famous actors at the Oscars, she poked fun at the couple’s marital situation, which Smith has acknowledged is an open relationship. “You’re married, but you know what? You’re on the list, and it looks like Jada approved you, so you get on up here!” Hall said to Smith.
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