A joke that Oscars presenter Chris Rock made at this year’s show drew the ire of Jada Pinkett Smith and her husband, Best Actor nominee Will Smith, resulting in a heated incident.
Smith ended up taking action after Rock’s remark by walking up to the stage and smacking the comedian during the live telecast. That was followed by Smith returning to his seat and telling Rock not to mention his wife.
The joke wasn’t well-received by Jada due to the fact she has Alopecia, a condition that results in hair loss.
However, Rock’s Jada Pinkett Smith bald joke during the ceremony was one that he ad-libbed during the show, though, a source said following the event, mentioning it wasn’t a remark made with any malicious intent.
Source says Chris Rock ad-libbed his Jada Pinkett Smith joke
On Monday, TMZ reported they spoke with a source close to Chris Rock, who claims the comedian didn’t realize Jada Pinkett Smith had the condition known as Alopecia when he made his joke during Sunday’s Academy Awards telecast. The autoimmune disease commonly results in unpredictable hair loss, which is why Jada embraced the bald look.
TMZ’s same source said that Chris “doesn’t have a mean bone in his body” when it comes to his jokes. However, Rock’s G.I. Jane 2 jab wasn’t appreciated by Jada, who wasn’t laughing when her husband Will Smith was.
“Jada, I love you,” the 57-year-old Rock said. “‘G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it.'”
While the joke initially received some laughter from the audience members, including Will Smith, the Best Actor nominee soon left his spot in the audience and headed onto the stage. He slapped Rock in the face before walking back to his seat. An uncensored video shows the full exchange.
“Wow. Will Smith just slapped the s*** out of me,” Rock said as he kept things going.
“Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth!” Smith yelled at Rock from his seat, with the comedian saying he would.
Following the heated incident, Smith remained in the venue, later claiming the award for Best Actor for his performance in King Richard as Richard Williams, the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams.
The Williams sisters were in attendance for the event, witnessing Smith’s altercation with Rock and his teary-eyed acceptance speech for Best Actor. That speech featured Smith speaking about what winning the award and working in the movie King Richard meant to him. It also included Smith apologizing to the Academy.
Rock didn’t press charges against Smith after the event. According to TMZ, another source said that Chris Rock was “shaken and bewildered” after the Oscars incident. However, the comedian still attended Guy Oseary’s Oscars After Party to attempt to enjoy the rest of his night.
Smith issued apology to Rock after Oscars, Academy looking into incident
While Smith’s acceptance speech during the Oscars included an apology to the Academy, it didn’t feature Smith apologizing to Rock for the onstage slap. However, Smith issued an apology on Monday evening via his official Instagram, saying he was “out of line” and “wrong.”
“My behavior at last night’s Academy Award was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” Smith said.
Smith went on to apologize to Chris Rock, indicating he was “embarrassed,” and his actions didn’t display the man he wants to be.
“There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness,” the 53-year-old actor said in his apology.
Smith also apologized to the Academy, the Williams Family, and his “King Richard Family,” adding he regretted how his behavior “stained” the “otherwise gorgeous journey.”
Shortly after the Oscars telecast ended, the Academy released a statement noting that they don’t condone violence. However, it was reported on Monday that the officers of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ board of governors held an emergency call about the event. It’s widely believed that the Academy will conduct a full review of the incident, which could bring possible repercussions for Smith.
Based on a report via The Hollywood Reporter, Smith is unlikely to lose his Oscar award for Best Actor but could have his membership with the Academy suspended.