Will Smith hits Chris Rock: what happened? The joke about Jada Smith that stunned the 2022 Oscars
Chris Rock’s joke about Jada Smith went badly wrong as Smith stormed the stage, appeared to punch the comedian and swore profusely.
2022 Oscars in "stories"
Will Smith attacked Chris Rock and told him to fuck off after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife, at tonight's Oscar ceremony.
Chris Rock was up presenting the nominees for Best Documentary, when he made a joke about Will Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
“Jada, I love you. GI Jane 2 I can’t wait to see it!”
Will Smith strikes Chris Rock
Will Smith actually laughed at the joke at first, but Jada Smith was clearly unamused at the jibe over her hair - she has publicly admitted she has been struggling with hair loss for several years - at which point Smith walked up on stage and hit Rock, with what appeared to be a real blow, which sent Rock backwards, though he didn't lose his footing.
“Wow, Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me”, exclaimed Rock, who appeared to be unhurt.
Smith went back to his seat and began shouting at the comedian: “Keep my wife’s name out yer fucking mouth!”
“Wow dude, it was a GI Jane joke,” responded Rock.
“Keep my wife’s name out yer fucking mouth!” Smith yelled again, with the audience now tense and realising Smith was not acting.
“I’m going to, ok, ok” said Rock, looking shaken by the event. He looked off stage as if for support or guidance on what to do, and said “Well, that was… the greatest night in the history of television” and moved swiftly on to the nominees for Best Documentary.
Will Smith wins Best Actor, apologises in acceptance speech
Will Smith went on to win Best Actor for his portrayal of Richard Williams and in a tear-filled acceptance speech he apologised to the Academy and his fellow nominees, though not to Chris Rock.
Will Smith's full speech:
"I know that to do what we do we have to be able to take abuse, take people talking crazy about you. Have people disrespecting you. Got to smile and pretend that's ok. But Richard Williams, what I love.. Denzel [Washington] said to me just a few minutes ago. 'Be careful because at your highest moment that's when the devil comes for you.'
"I want to be a vessel for love. I want to say thank yo to Venus and Serena I want to say thank you to the entire Williams family for entrusting me with your story. I want to be an ambassador for that kind of love and care and concern.
"I want to apologize to the academy my fellow nominees.
"This is a beautiful moment and I'm not crying for winning an award. It's not about winning an award for me, it's about shining a light on... the entire cast, Serena, Venus and the entire family.
"Art imitated life, I look the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. Love will make you do crazy things.
"To my mother, a lot is complicated for me at the moment, to my mother. She wasn't able to come out. She's with her knitting crew. Being able to love and care for my mother and my wife. Thank you for this honour, thank you for this moment. Thank you to Richard and the Williams family. And I hope the academy invites me back."
Could the academy take away Will Smith's award?
Though Will Smith apologized and said he hoped the academy would invite him back, can the academy actually strip him of his Best Actor award? The short answer is that it's unlikely. The academy has revoked nominations, but though Smith's behavior was less than ideal, the academy does not take the award away once it's been given, at least they never have before. Harvey Weinstein and other sexual predators have been stripped of their membership in the academy for much more serious grievances, but currently there's no rule in place which makes it possible for an Oscar to be stripped away after it's been awarded.
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