28/03/22 An earlier version of this story referred to Smith as punching Rock. Images are now available that make it clear it was a slap.
Will Smith has clashed with Oscars host Chris Rock during the Academy Awards 2022 ceremony. Smith went on stage and hit Rock after the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith during the presentation of the Best Documentary Feature award.
Rock took a crack at Smith saying she would be appearing in “G.I. Jane 2”. After which Will Smith walked on stage punched Rock and walked off. Once sitting the King Richard star could be heard shouting, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth”. For his part, Rock didn’t really react just saying Will just “smacked the sh*t” out of him and joking that it was “the greatest night in the history of television”.
Those watching at home initially thought the slap was part of some joke for the Oscars, but it became obvious this wasn’t the case when the live feed from the ceremony was cut. Footage has since emerged that appears to show Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry trying to comfort Smith after the confrontation with Rock.
Watch Smith hit Rock below:
Will Smith just punched Chris Rock and told him "keep my wife's name out of your f***ing mouth" pic.twitter.com/1f1ytdbMRv
— CJ Fogler (@cjzer0) March 28, 2022
Following the blow, Twitter exploded with some laughing off the surprisingly intense exchange. Check out the reaction below.
Total BS by @willsmith. If his night is ruined because of this he deserves it. The man has Denzel & Bradley Cooper trying to calm him down. For what? A joke about his wife in G.I. Joe? Come on! The shit was embarrassing! A very very bad look! Love Will. But not after this B.S.
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) March 28, 2022
Got to say, seeing Will Smith smiling and clapping Jane Campion has made me feel real uncomfortable and angry.
He just slapped someone on live TV in front of MILLIONS and is acting like it was nothing.
Will Smith did that.
Will. Smith. 😳😳
— Scott J. Davis (@scottwritesfilm) March 28, 2022
I still have "take my wife's name out of your fucking mouth" ringing in my ears. On my deathbed they will be my last words. #Oscars
— Hanna Ines Flint (@HannaFlint) March 28, 2022
I mean, well done Campion, but there’s no way anyone isn’t thinking about The Slap.
— Andrew 🇺🇦 (@jupin) March 28, 2022
There’s some speculation online that Smith was incensed by the comments about his wife because she suffers from alopecia – a condition that causes people to lose their hair. It’s though Rock’s comments about GI Jane were a dig at Jada’s short hair.
Smith is the favourite to take home Best Actor at tonight’s Academy Awards for his performance in King Richard, we’ll see whether Smith, should he win, apologises for his outburst during his acceptance speech. Spoilers… he did and he didn’t. Smith did apologise to the Academy and his fellow nominees but not to Rock.