Rock was presenting best documentary prize when the incident happened. Referring to Pinkett Smith’s shaved hairdo, Rock said: “Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2.”
At first, it had seemed like a joke or some kind of set-up. Smith even appeared to laugh at first after Rock delivered his line about his wife looking like G.I. Jane.
His joke referred to 1997 film GI Jane, in which Demi Moore played the title role rocking a low cut hair style.
Doubt began to creep in when Smith rose from his seat and hit Rock on the stage. Of course, both these guys are veterans of film and television, and would know how to carry out a fake stage slap. Except, everyone was starting to think, it didn’t look that fake.
By the time, Smith was sitting back in his seat and shouting to Rock to “keep my wife’s name out your [expletive] mouth,” it was clear this was no sketch. A professional like Smith would know better than to drop the F-word on stage during a live TV broadcast.
The moment Will Smith designed Chris Rock’s face with a sIap on stage at the Oscarspic.twitter.com/JLGU1Mv9WE
— Instablog9ja (@instablog9ja) March 28, 2022
Viewers at home didn’t hear the swearing. Broadcast network ABC had cut the live feed to avoid offending viewers at home.
Rock, meanwhile, looked visibly shaken. But, realising he’d just made Oscars history, he made light of the situation, commenting: “That was the greatest night in the history of television.”
He then handed over the best documentary prize, which was the reason he was on stage.
VIA JAPANESE TELEVISION: The uncensored exchange between Will Smith and Chris Rock pic.twitter.com/j0Z184ZyXa
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 28, 2022
However, Smith later apologised in a tearful best actor acceptance speech.
— DiscussingFilm (@DiscussingFilm) March 28, 2022
“I want to apologise to the Academy. I want to apologise to my all my fellow nominees,” Smith said after winning the first Oscar of his career for playing the father of tennis legends Venus and Serena Williams in King Richard.
He further stated;
Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.
Pinkett Smith has previously spoken about having the hair loss condition, alopecia.
Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes your hair to come out, often in clumps the size and shape of a quarter. The amount of hair loss is different in everyone. Some people lose it only in a few spots. Others lose a lot. Sometimes, hair grows back but falls out again later. In others, hair grows back for good.