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Will Smith confronts Chris Rock over Jada Pinkett Smith joke during 2022 Oscars

Will Smith confronts Chris Rock over Jada Pinkett Smith joke during 2022 Oscars
/ © Cover Media

Will Smith sensationally slapped Chris Rock during the Oscars ceremony on Sunday after the presenter made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

Rock came onstage at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles to present the Best Documentary category and joked that Pinkett Smith could make a sequel to G.I. Jane. The comment referred to the character G.I. Jane's baldness and Pinkett Smith's alopecia, which causes hair loss.

Smith reacted to the joke by walking onto the stage, slapping Rock, and walking back to his seat. Rock then told the audience, "Wow, Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of me."

Once back in his seat, the Best Actor nominee yelled, "Keep my wife's name out of your f**king mouth", causing shocked gasps within the audience.

Rock replied, "Wow, dude... it was a G.I. Jane joke," to which the King Richard actor repeated the warning even louder, and Rock assured him he was "going to".

After an awkward pause, the comedian recovered by joking, "That was the greatest night in the history of television", and getting back to the nominees.

Reports and photographs from inside the theatre show Smith being comforted by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry after the incident.

Later in the evening, Smith took home the Best Actor Oscar for playing Richard Williams in King Richard and apologised in his tearful acceptance speech.

"I know to do what we do you've got to be able to take abuse, and have people talk crazy about you and have people disrespecting you and you've got to smile and pretend like that's OK," he said, before adding that Washington told him, "At your highest moment, be careful, that's when the devil comes for you."

"I want to be a vessel for love," he continued. "I want to be an ambassador of that kind of love and care and concern... I want to apologise to the Academy and all my fellow nominees.

"Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father just like they said about Richard Williams, but love will make you do crazy things," he stated, and concluded his speech by joking that he hopes the Academy "invites me back".

Following the ceremony, officials from the Los Angeles Police Department confirmed they were "aware" of the incident and said the person involved had declined to file a report.

The Academy also issued a statement that read, "The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world."

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