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Oscars 2022: Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock: “Keep My Wife’s Name Out of Your Fucking Mouth”

Smith later won the award for Best Actor for his work in King Richard

will smith chris rock 2022 oscars slap strike punch
Chris Rock and Will Smith, photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images
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    After presenter Chris Rock joked that Jada Pinkett Smith looked like “G.I. Jane 2,” with her shaved head, Will Smith stormed the stage and slapped Rock across the face.

    Before Rock presented the award for documentary feature, he began by roasting members of the audience. But his crack about Pinkett Smith was deeply personal, hitting on her well-documented struggles with the autoimmune disorder alopecia, which can cause hair loss. The joke prompted her husband Smith to rush Rock and strike him.

    The US broadcast quickly cut the sound, but international broadcasts captured the full interaction. Rock said, “Wow, Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me.” Smith returned to his seat, where he hollered, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth!”

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    “Wow, dude, it was a G.I. Jane joke,” Rock retorted. Smith yelled again, “Keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth!”

    Pinkett Smith announced last year that she had shaved her head after struggling with alopecia. In an Instagram post, she wrote, “Now at this point, I can only laugh… y’all know I’ve been struggling with alopecia. Just all of a sudden, one day…it just showed up like that. Now, this is going to be a little bit more difficult for me to hide. So, I thought I’d just share it so y’all not asking any questions…Mama’s gonna have to take it down to the scalp so nobody thinks she got brain surgery or something. Me and this alopecia are going to be friends … period!”

    The ceremony awkwardly moved on, with Diddy taking the stage to introduce a tribute to The Godfather. “Will and Chris, we’re going to solve that like family. Right now we’re moving on with love. Everybody make some noise.”

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    During the commercial break, a visibly-emotional Smith was comforted by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry. Cell phone footage from the crowd seemed to show Smith wiping away tears. Check out videos of the incident below.

    Half an hour later, Smith again took the stage to accept the award for Best Actor, his first Oscar win. Smith starred in King Richard as the father of tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams. During his acceptance speech, he paid tribute to Richard Williams, a “fierce defender of his family.” Through tears, Smith said, “Denzel said to me a few minutes ago, ‘At your highest moment, that’s when the devil comes for you.’ I want to be a vessel for love.” He then apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees, and said “This is a beautiful moment.” He added, “Art imitates life, I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. Love will make you do crazy things.” Check out the full list of winners here.

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