Cheryl Kahla
Audience and Content Strategist
2 minute read
28 Mar 2022
5:58 am

WATCH: Mayhem at the Oscars as Will Smith slaps Chris Rock onstage

Cheryl Kahla

A tearful Will Smith had to be pulled aside and consoled by Denzel Washington.

Will Smith slaps Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on 27 March 2022. Photo: AFP/Robyn Beck

South Africans are waking up to the trending news on Monday after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars, who made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith.

No one knows for sure if this was a prepared skit or an impulsive act of violence.

Mayhem at the Oscars

Will Smith slaps Chris Rock

While presenting the best documentary prize, Rock made a joke about Pinkett Smith’s hair, comparing it to Demi Moore in G.I. Jane.

Smith took to the stage and slapped Rock before returning to his seat while shouting: “Keep my wife’s name out of your f*** mouth”.

While the Oscar producers were able to censor the audio for their audience in the United States, uncensored footage went out to international viewers.

Chris Rock’s tasteless joke

For context, Jada Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia – the medical term for bald. She revealed her diagnosis publicly four years ago.

According to The Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg, Smith had to be “pulled aside and comforted by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry”.

‘Art imitates life’

Smith later won the Best Actor Oscar for portraying Venus and Serena Williams’ father Richard in the tennis biopic, King Richard.

He said the man he portrayed, Richard Williams, was a fierce defender of his family. Smith added, “Art imitates life; I look like the crazy father”.

“Just like they said, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.”

Smith – who beat Javier Bardem, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Garfield, and Denzel Washington for the coveted statue – concluded by saying he hopes the Academy invites him back.

After the altercation, host Amy Schumer returned to the stage, saying: “Did I miss anything? There’s like a different vibe in here.”

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