Will Smith went viral last night during his attendance at the 94th Academy Awards ceremony.
The Fresh Prince alum approached the stage after comedian Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith and her hair loss— saying he would see her in the next G.I. Jane movie.
Will calmly walked up to Chris before hitting him with an open palm and returning to his seat, where he told the comedian, “keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth.”
The incident immediately made headlines and shocked viewers, leading to The Academy releasing a statement regarding Will’s actions.
The Academy releases statement advising they ‘do not condone violence’
Following the ceremony, The Academy released a statement on Twitter advising fans that they don’t “condone” violent acts.
Their tweet reads, “The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.”
Although The Academy released a statement quickly, clips of Will Smith’s legendary smack had already circulated around the world, and memes quickly began circulating.
Watch Will Smith hit Chris Rock at the Oscars
For fans who were tuned into the Oscars, they got to see the iconic smack and Will walk off the stage, seeing the audience’s reactions afterward. However, much of the audio was taken out due to profanity on live television.
However, fans have clips from Japanese television where the exchange was not censored or muted. The clip starts as Will walks up the stage but doesn’t show the original joke Chris made.
Despite Chris’s comments about Jada, the Oscars weren’t ruined for Will.
Will Smith wins Best Actor moments after hitting Chris Rock
Only moments after Chris was smacked by Will, Will Smith was announced the winner of Best Actor for his role as Richard Williams in the film King Richard.
Will was moved to tears when accepting his award for Best Actor and seemed to be able to relate his love for his family in real life to the character he portrayed in King Richard.
He referred to Richard Williams as “a fierce defender of his family.” He continued saying that it was a “beautiful moment,” and his tears weren’t from winning the award but “being able to a shine a light on all of the people.”
He finished his speech by saying, “Art imitates life. I look just like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.”
After the awards, it was confirmed that Chris Rock does not plan to file a police report following the incident.