Will Smith and Chris Rock Credit: Contributed/ABC/A.M.P.A.S.

It was the slap heard ’round the world when actor Will Smith took to the stage at Sunday night’s Oscar ceremony and smacked comedian Chris Rock after Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.


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Rock was on stage to present the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Before his presentation, he made a joke about Pinkett Smith being in a sequel to the 1997 film “G.I. Jane” because of her shaved head. Pinkett Smith struggles with alopecia announcing last year that she had been dealing with hair loss for years.

Smith went on stage and slapped Rock across the face. Rock reacted by saying, “Wow, Will Smith just smacked the s–t out of me.” Smith went back to his seat and yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f–king mouth!” The exchange was censored on live U.S. television, but not on international broadcasts.

After the slap, during commercial breaks, several people spoke with Smith including actors Denzel Washington, Tyler Perry and Bradley Cooper.

Diddy (Sean Combs) took to the stage after the incident to highlight the 50th anniversary of the film “The Godfather” and addressed the situation.

“Will and Chris, we’re going to solve this like family,” he said. “Right now we’re moving on with love. Everybody make some noise.”

Smith went on to win the Best Actor award for his role in “King Richard.” During his tearful acceptance speech, Smith made reference to the character he played, Richard Williams, the father and coach of famed tennis players Venus and Serena Williams. He also apologized for his actions.

“Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” Smith said. “In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world. I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees.”

Reports indicate Rock will not be pressing charges against Smith.

On Monday, Smith took to Instagram to apologize to Rock for slapping him.

“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris,” Smith said. “I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness. “

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1 Comment

  1. Lesson in life for us all. Stay away from jokes about politics, religion, and Black women’s hair. I know politics and religion are old school and no one seems to follow that rule now a days anyway, but there’s a new issue to stay away from, Black women’s hair. All three of these are very sensitive subjects, so beware!!!

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