The highpoint of the 2022 Oscars which was held in the early hours of Monday at the Dolby Theatre, Hollywood, was the shocking moment when the Oscar-winning actor, Will Smith, slapped the show anchor, Chris Rock.
The latter was upstage cracking some jokes and then proceeded to talk about couples such as Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz before focusing on Smith and his actress wife, Jada.
Rock mocked the actress and her bald head and then asked when the G.I. Jane sequel would be released.
“Jada, I love ya. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it,” Rock said seconds before he was slapped.
Because Jada has been public about her alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss, Smith felt Rock’s jokes were in bad taste.
While it sounded like a harmless joke to the audience, Smith took it personally as he approached Rock, slapped him before returning to his seat.
Smith and his wife have revealed that they are in an open marriage yet remain committed to each other.
While the audio of the verbal exchange didn’t air on ABC, a clip of uncensored footage has surfaced on Twitter.
“Will Smith just fucking slapped the shit out of me,” Rock said.
While seated, Smith angrily yelled at Rock twice saying “keep my wife’s name out of your fu**ing mouth”.
Viewers and a cross-section of the audience initially believed it was a scripted scene but it turned out to be real after all.
Rock was too shocked to respond and attempted to ask Will to chill but Smith wasn’t having any of that.
This isn’t the first time Rock has used Jada as a punch line at the Oscars.
In 2016, he did the same thing when he mentioned her in his opening monologue at the awards show.
It was, no doubt, a night of firsts.
Two decades after his first nomination, Smith finally won his first Oscar.
He was awarded the best actor in a leading role for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the father of tennis superstars Venus and Serena in “King Richard”.
Smith apologised to the Academy and his fellow nominees, but not Rock in his acceptance speech. He wrapped up his speech by saying he hopes that the Academy invites him back.
This is what Smith said: “I want to apologise to the Academy. I want to apologize 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.
“Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family. At this time in my life, at 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 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 protect people and be a river to my people. I know to do what we do, you have to be able to take abuse. You have to be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business you, have to be able to have people disrespect you. And you got to smile and you got to pretend like that’s okay.”
Smith has won a Golden Globe Award, a BAFTA Award, a Critics Choice Award and the Screen Actors Guild Award for this role.
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