Updated: March 28, 2022 11:03:02 am
The 94th Academy Awards had the audience shocked as actors Will Smith and Chris Rock had an unscripted on-stage altercation. As Chris Rock took the Oscars stage to present the best documentary award, the comedian made a joke about the actor’s wife, actor Jada Pinkett Smith. While Will laughed a bit in the beginning, Jada was seen rolling her eyes. Soon after, Will went up to the stage and slapped Chris on the face.
“Javier Bardem and his wife are both nominated. Now, if she loses, he can’t win,” Rock started his piece, adding, “He is praying that Will Smith wins, like, please, lord. Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it, all right?” As the joke received a tepid response, Rock added: “That was a nice one!”
Jada has previously opened up about being diagnosed with alopecia, a hair loss condition. She first opened up about it in 2018, and has since spoken up about her challenges of living with the condition on social media. She had said she had decided to cut her hair short after handfuls of it came out in the shower. “It was one of those times in my life where I was literally shaking in fear. That’s why I cut my hair, and why I continue to cut it,” she had said. It is an autoimmune disorder that impacts the hair follicles, resulting in both bald spots and hair loss.
After Will slapped Chris, the entire auditorium went silent for a few seconds, Will came back to his seat and shouted, “Keep my wife’s name out of your (expletive) mouth.” Even though there was no mic on Will, his audio was clearly audible. At the end of the exchange, Chris said, “That was the greatest night in the history of television.”
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— Eric Feigl-Ding (@DrEricDing) March 28, 2022
AP reported that during the commercial break, Daniel Kaluuya came to hug Will and Denzel Washington took him to the side of the stage. They talked and hugged, as Tyler Perry also joined. The agency reported that Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban also spoke to Will and Jada during one of the commercial breaks.
During the commercial break, Will Smith is pulled aside and comforted by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry, who motion for him to brush it off. Will appears to wipe tears from his eyes as he sits back down with Jada, with Denzel comforting Jada and Will’s rep by his side. pic.twitter.com/uDGVnWrSS2
— Scott Feinberg (@ScottFeinberg) March 28, 2022
Soon after this, Will won his first Oscar. He won Best Actor for his performance in King Richard. In his acceptance speech, Will apologised to the Academy and spoke about the importance of family in his life. He said, “I wanna apologize to the Academy… to all my fellow nominees. … Art imitates life, I look like the crazy father! … Love will make you do crazy things.” Will plays Richard Williams, father to tennis stars Serena and Venus Williams in the film.
He added, “Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family. In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world. Making this film, I got to protect Aunjanue Ellis, who is one of the strongest, most delicate people I’ve ever met. I got to protect Saniyya and Demi, the two actresses that played Venus and Serena. I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people. I know to do what we do, you got to be able to take abuse. You got to be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business you got to be able to have people disrespecting you. And you got to smile and you got to pretend like that’s okay.”
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