Chris Rock called it the “greatest night in the history of television.”
Two of the largest Black actors ever, Will Smith and Chris Rock, got involved in a live apparent altercation at the 94th Oscars in Los Angeles on March 27.
“Jada, I love you,” Rock said. “G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it.”
The punchline referred to Jada Pinkett Smith’s short haircut, very similar to the Demi Moore, the actress who starred in G.I. Jane. Pinkett Smith revealed on social media in December she battles with alopecia, which results in hair loss.
As the camera panned to Pinkett Smith after Rock’s punchline, the veteran actress wasn’t smiling. Soon after, Smith came marching into the frame onto the stage toward Rock.
He then gave him a classic smack across the face that could be heard clearly over the microphone before walking back to his seat.
“Oh wow,” Rock said. “Will Smith just smacked the s— out of me.”
Smith made his reasoning very clear when he returned to his seat.
“Keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth!” Smith said. “Keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth!”
“Wow, dude,” Rock responded. “It was a G.I. Jane joke.”
Smith responded with the same statement.
After the room took a couple of seconds to digest what happened between two of the biggest stars in American history on live television, Rock made the most light of the situation he could.
“That was, uh, the greatest night in the history of television,” Rock said.
VIA JAPANESE TELEVISION: The uncensored exchange between Will Smith and Chris Rock pic.twitter.com/j0Z184ZyXa
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 28, 2022
Here’s Chris Rock making fun of Jada being bald with a GI Jane 2 joke. Jada has alopecia and that's why she's bald. Damn Will had the right to slap tf outta Chris Rock pic.twitter.com/gLkytrCXwb
— 𝙋𝙡𝙖𝙮🚫𝙛𝙛𝘽𝙧𝙤𝙣 (@Play0ffBron) March 28, 2022
This is also not the first time Rock has made a joke at the Oscar’s about Pinkett-Smith. In 2016, after Pinkett-Smith launched the “#OscarsSoWhite” campaign, Rock included Pinkett-Smith’s name in it again.
— Erik Hall (he/him) (@HallErik) March 28, 2022
In a moment of brotherhood and solitude, Tyler Perry and Denzel Washington pulled Smith over to the side to talk to him after the incident before Smith returned to his seat.