Look: Will Smith slaps Chris Rock in viral Oscars 2022 moment

The Oscars ground to a shocked silence after Smith smacked the comedian onstage after he made a joke about Smith’s wife.



By AP

Published: Mon 28 Mar 2022, 7:18 AM

Last updated: Mon 28 Mar 2022, 10:08 AM

A 94th Academy Awards that steadily maintained a buoyant spirit was rocked by an unbelievable exchange after Will Smith took offense to a joke made by Chris Rock about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

After Rock joked to Smith that he was looking forward to a sequel to “G.I. Jane,” Smith stood up from his seat near the stage, strode up to Rock and slapped him. After sitting back down, Smith shouted at Rock to “keep my wife’s name out of your (expletive) mouth.”

The moment shocked the Dolby Theatre audience and viewers at home. At the commercial break, presenter Daniel Kaluuya came up to to hug Smith, and Denzel Washington escorted him to the side of the stage. The two talked and hugged and Tyler Perry came over to talk as well.

Smith is widely expected to win his first Oscar later in the ceremony.

Up until that moment, the show had been running fairly smoothly. Ariana DeBose became the first Afro-Latina to win an Academy Award for supporting actress, while Troy Kotsur became the first deaf actor to win an acting award.

After record-low ratings and a pandemic-marred 2021 show, producers this year turned to one of the biggest stars around — Beyonce? — to kick off an Oscars intended to revive the awards’ place in pop culture. After an introduction from Venus and Serena Williams, Beyonce? performed her “King Richard” nominated song, “Be Alive,” in an elaborately choreographed performance from a lime-colored, open-air stage in Compton, where the Williams sisters grew up.

Hosts Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer and Regina Hall then began the telecast from the Dolby Theatre.

“All right, we are here at the Oscars,” began Hall. Sykes finished: “Where movie lovers unite and watch TV.”


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