Will Smith won his first-ever Oscar at the 94th Academy Awards on Sunday, but in his speech he apologized to the Academy of Arts and Sciences, the presenters of the Oscars, for a moment that happened earlier in the show.
Social media was buzzing. Was it real or was it staged? It wasn’t staged, it was real when actor Smith sitting in the front row of the Dolby Theatre got out of his seat, walked up to the comedian Chris Rock and smacked him.
(Watch the wild Oscars’ moment below)
Rock was getting ready to present the award for Best Documentary, but did some comedian banter beforehand.
After he told a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, with a reference to the movie “G.I. Jane,” Smith stood up, went on stage and slapped Rock.
Rock responded by saying, “Oh, wow! Wow! Will Smith just smacked the (s***) out of me.”
Smith, who had returned to his seat, screamed: “Keep my wife’s name out of your (f******) mouth!”
ABC cut the sound during the exchange.
"I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees," Will Smith says in intense and lengthy remarks that occurred after he hit Chris Rock on the #Oscars stage.https://t.co/1H1Y9jC9bl#oscars pic.twitter.com/IlpBjx8lgD— ABC News (@ABC) March 28, 2022
Rock’s joke referenced Pinkett-Smith and suggested she was preparing for the sequel to “G.I. Jane” because of her bald head.
Pinkett-Smith went public in 2018 about dealing with alopecia and hair loss.
LAPD issued an official statement on the altercation late Sunday. Rock declined to press charges against Smith, according to police.
“LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,” the statement read. “The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report . . .“If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”
As far as Smith’s win, he was nominated twice before for best actor (for “Ali” and “The Pursuit of Happyness”).
The 53-year-old’s performance as Richard Williams, father to Venus and Serena, was the most likely choice throughout the awards season to win Best Actor.
His contenders were Javier Bardem, “Being the Ricardos,” Benedict Cumberbatch, “The Power of the Dog,” Andrew Garfield, “tick, tick...BOOM!” and Denzel Washington, “The Tragedy of Macbeth.”