Chris Rock was on stage at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre to present the Best Documentary Feature prize on March 27 when he mocked some of the famous faces in the crowd, and Will Smith took offense when Rock poked fun at his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaven head.
Rock said: “Jada, love ya. ‘G.I. Jane 2′, can’t wait to see it.’ ”
Although Will laughed at first, Jada looked unimpressed and Will then walked to the stage, smacked the presenter, and walked away.
Chris said: “Oh Wow. Will Smith just smacked the s— out of me.” Will then shouted from his seat: “Take my wife’s name out of your f—— mouth.”
Chris said: “Wow dude. It was a ‘G.I. Jane’ joke.” Smith then again said: “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—ing mouth.”
Chris appeared stunned as he said: “I’m going to OK … I’ll keep going? That was, er, the greatest night in the history of television. OK. So we are here to give a documentary out, to give an Oscar for Best
Documentary. Now the beauty of documentaries, they make you feel smart, like you read a book or something but all you really did was get high and watch Netflix. So here we go, the nominees are …”
Will and Jada’s son Jaden appeared to back his father in a since-deleted tweet. He wrote: “And That’s How We Do It.”
Jaden later shared a selfie and said his dad’s acceptance speech for his first Oscar for Best Actor reduced him to tears.
In the second deleted post, he wrote: “My Dads Speech Made Me Cry.”
Hip-hop legend 50 Cent shared a meme of the moment Will struck Chris with “Everybody Hates Chris” across it, the name of the sitcom the 57-year-old stand-up narrated.
The “Candy Shop” hitmaker joked in the caption: “B—- don’t you ever play with me. LOL.”
By contrast, director Judd Apatow hailed the attack “pure out of control rage and violence” and said Will “could have killed” Chris. In a since-deleted post, he wrote: “He could have killed him. That’s pure out of control rage and violence. They’ve heard a million jokes about them in the last three decades. They are not freshman in the world of Hollywood and comedy. He lost his mind. Seems like Will Smith’s plan to get comedian and the world to not make jokes about him is not going to pan out. The Williams family must be furious. Pure narcissism.”
Referring to Demi Moore playing GI Jane in the 1997 film, he added: “Also — GI Jane was gorgeous. What exactly is insulting about being compared to a ripped, stunning Demi?”
Comic Kathy Griffin was also unimpressed. She tweeted: “Let me tell you something, it’s a very bad practice to walk up on stage and physically assault a Comedian [sic]. Now we all have to worry about who wants to be the next Will Smith in comedy clubs and theaters.”
While One Direction star Liam Payne told reporters: “I believe whatever he felt that he did, he had the right to do. I had to leave my chair I’ll be honest with you, it cut me really deep.”
Will apologized upon receiving his Oscar and no charges will be made. He said: “I want to apologize to the Academy, to all 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 being able to shine a light. Tim and Trevor and Zac, and Saniyya and Demi and Aunjanue and the entire cast and crew of King Richard, Venus and Serena, the entire
“Art imitates life, I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. Love will make you do crazy things. To my mother, a lot of this moment is really complicated for me, but to my mother, she didn’t want to come, she has her knitting crew she’s watching with. Being able to love and care for my mother, my family, my wife thank you for this honor, thank you for this honor, thank you for this moment. I thank you on behalf of Richard, Oracene, and the entire Williams family.”