During the 94th Academy Awards, comedian Chris Rock told a joke that didn’t sit too well with newly-minted Oscar winner Will Smith.
While presenting at the coveted award show, Rock made a not-so-funny comment about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s hair.
As soon as the comedian finished telling his joke, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star walked onto the stage and smacked Rock without hesitation, leaving the audience and those at home speechless.
Chris Rock joked that Jada Pinkett Smith looked like G.I Jane.
The intense altercation began when Chris Rock joked about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, which is a result of her hair-loss condition, alopecia.
“Jada, I love you, ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it,” Rock quipped.
At first, Smith seemed to initially laugh at the comedian’s joke while his wife looked displeased. However, he immediately turned sour.
Will Smith warned Chris Rock to keep Jada's name out of his 'f—cking mouth'
Soon after Chris Rock made his joke about Jada, the King Richard star walked up to the stage and took a swing at the comedian.
Smith then returned to his seat where he proceeded to shout to Rock to “keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.”
Rock then replied, “That was the greatest night in the history of television.” The heated exchange left the audience shocked.
Will Smith apologized for the incident
Later that night, Will Smith won the Oscar for Best Actor for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the father of tennis legends Serena and Venus Williams, in King Richard.
During his acceptance speech, the actor apologized to the academy and to his fellow nominees for the shocking onstage slap. He did not, however, apologize to Chris Rock.
“This is a beautiful moment and I’m not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me. It’s about being able to shine a light on all of the people,” Smith said. “Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams.”
“I’m being called on in my life to love people, and to protect people, and to be a river to my people,” he continued. “I know, to do what we do, you gotta be able to take abuse. You gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you. You gotta have people disrespecting people and you gotta smile and you gotta pretend like that’s OK.”