Will Smith left Oscar viewers stunned after he slapped Chris Rock following a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair loss at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27.
The slapping incident occurred after Rock cracked a joke about the ‘GI Jane’ haircut of Jada Pinkett Smith, 50, who has alopecia.
The shocking scene, broadcast live around the world, stunned both the live audience at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and TV viewers.
Smith later showed up on stage and slapped Rock with an open right hand. Rock staggered and exclaimed, ‘Wow, Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of me.’
Smith then walked back to his seat and shouted: ‘Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.’
Referring to Pinkett Smith’s buzzcut, Rock said: ‘Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2’, prompting the actress to roll her eyes. Pinkett Smith has been battling hair loss since revealing her alopecia diagnosis in 2018.
After being slapped, Rock appeared shocked and still went on to present the best documentary feature category.
‘That was the greatest night in the history of television,’ Rock said, before awkwardly reading the Oscar nominees, an award that went to Questlove’s ‘Summer of Soul (…or When the Revolution Was Not Televised).’
Hollywood stars, as well as fans, have taken to Twitter to condemn Smith’s shocking attack, with comedian and director Judd Apatow calling the display ‘pure out of control rage and violence and claiming that Smith ‘could have killed’ Rock.
Some fans also made jokes out of the shocking incident while others supported Will Smith for slapping Chris Rock for joking about his wife’s hair condition.