Sunday nights (Mar.27) Oscar Awards might be the most talked-about one for years to come and not because of the winners, but becuase of one slap.
Coming into the latest Academy Awards, Will Smith was on many people’s lists to take home the Best Actor award for his brilliant portrayal of Venus and Serena Williams’ polarizing father, Robert Williams. What we didn’t expect was he would keep that Richard Williams energy and slap the mess out of Chris Rock.
The incident that now has everyone talking happened after Chris Rock, who presented the award for Best Documentary, got the taste slapped out of his mouth after he made a joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett-Smith being in G.I Jane 2. Pinkett, who is now bald, suffers from alopecia. She shared the news with fans last year. The actress was visibly upset after Rock dropped the joke. During Rock’s presentation, Smith got up, walked on the stage, and slapped Rock, surprising those in attendance and those watching worldwide.
As we all sat and wondered if that moment was “scripted,” another video arrived featuring Will Smith yelling at Rock from his seat, telling the comedian/actor to keep his wife’s name “out of his f***ing mouth.” It confirmed Smith did indeed channel his inner Nipsey Hussle.
Diddy also confirmed that drama did indeed take place on the Oscars stage when he came out to present an award saying, “Will and Chris, we’re gonna solve that like family at the Gold Party.”
The night did carry on, but the energy was much different after the incident. After he smacked Rock, Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry pulled Smith to the side and gave him words of encouragement, and it appeared Smith was emotional following the moment as he seemed to “wipe tears from his eyes,” per Scott Feinberg. Will Smith was also approached by this year’s Oscars ceremony producer Will Packer following the incident.
Will Smith still took home the Best Actor award for his role in King Richard and did apologize for the moment in a tearful speech, saying, “Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” and revealing what Washington told him. “At your highest moment, be careful; that’s when the devil comes for you,” Smith said Washington told him.
As you can imagine, the moment took over social media with some believing Will Smith was out of line, while others said Smith was in the right to defend his wife when Rock started talking about Jada Pinkett.
You can peep those reactions in the gallery below.
Photo: ROBYN BECK / Getty