The Will Smith-Chris Rock Oscar Smack Seen Around the World

From Diddy’s reaction to Denzel Washington’s advice—here’s everything we know about the Academy Awards altercation so far
227

While compiling a potential list for this post originally titled “13 Buzziest Oscars Moments,” we realized it simply would’ve been inaccurate since there is really only one shocking moment that had everyone buzzing. Hence, the post reboot you are reading now.

Will Smith appeared to stride on stage and hit Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars. Rock came to the stage to present an Oscar for the documentary feature and made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith being in G.I. Jane due to her shaved head.

Smith quickly got up, walked over to Rock, and smacked him. He then returned to his seat and yelled at Rock twice, repeating “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth!”

The Oscars audience seemed either uncomfortable or in the midst of processing what exactly happened. Lupita Nyong’o, who was placed just behind the King Richard star, had a raw reaction to the altercation.

Diddy took the stage immediately after Smith’s slap to introduce the 50th-anniversary celebration of The Godfather. He made sure to address the situation, saying “Will and Chris, we’re going to solve this like family. Right now we’re moving on with love. Everybody make some noise.”

Meredith O. Sullivan, Smith’s publicist, as well as Denzel Washington quickly strode over to him during the commercial break to speak to him, according to Variety.

Smith later relayed Washington’s advice during his best actor speech—and also his first Oscar win—saying he had told him, “At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you.”

After a visit from Oscars producer Will Packer and an Oscar best actor win for King Richard, Smith returned to the stage and apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees.

“Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” Smith said during his acceptance speech.

Tiffany Haddish, Judd Apatow, and Smith’s son, Jaden, also weighed in on the Oscars’ buzziest moment.

Pinkett Smith broke news last year that she had made the decision to shave her head after a continual battle with alopecia.

“Mama’s gonna have to take it down to the scalp so nobody thinks she got brain surgery or something,” she wrote below an Instagram post. “Me and this alopecia are going to be friends … period!”

This is not the first time Rock has taken shots at Pinkett Smith during an Oscars ceremony. In 2016, as the event’s host for the evenings, Rock said “Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited! Oh, that’s not an invitation I would turn down!” Pinkett Smith was boycotting the ceremony due to a lack of diversity within the nominees.

The Los Angeles Police Department has since released a statement to ABC News on the incident between Smith and Rock.

“LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program. The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report,” the LAPD said.

This is not the first time Rock has taken shots at Pinkett Smith during an Oscars ceremony. In 2016, as the event’s host for the evenings, Rock said “Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited! Oh, that’s not an invitation I would turn down!” Pinkett Smith was boycotting the ceremony due to a lack of diversity within the nominees.

The Los Angeles Police Department has since released a statement to ABC News on the incident between Smith and Rock.

“LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program. The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report,” the LAPD said.


Stay on top of the latest in L.A. news, food, and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.