Hit Me with Your Best Shot

Smith Slaps Rock at the Awards Ceremony

Estephania Anaya-Lopez

Chris Rock got a crisp slap to the face from Will Smith after a joke made during the 2022 Academy Awards.


While introducing the Best Documentary award, Chris Rock quipped to Jada Pinkett Smith, “Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see ya.” The joke met with an unamused expression from Pinkett Smith and a laugh from Smith, who then proceeded to stand up, step on stage, and strike Rock before taking his seat.

 

A seemingly surprised Rock remarked, “Oh wow…Will Smith just smacked…me.”


From his seat, Smith yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out your…mouth”, to which Rock responded, “Wow, dude, it was a G.I. Jane joke.” Smith replied again, “Keep my wife’s name out of your…mouth!”

 

Rock answered, “I’m going to, okay?” and then finished with, “That was the…greatest night in television history.”

 

Jada Pinkett Smith had shaved her head after the autoimmune disorder alopecia caused mass hair loss.


Following the incident, Smith went back to the stage to accept his Oscar for Best Actor–for his role-playing Venus and Serena Williams’ father in “King Richard”–and gave an apology, “I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to my fellow nominees…But love will make you do crazy things…I hope the academy invites me back. Thank you.” The apology, however, did not mention or acknowledge Rock.

 

Rock, it seems, has decided against pressing charges, as a statement from the Los Angeles Police Department states, “The individual involved has declined to file a police report.”

 

It remains to be seen whether Smith’s Best Actor Oscar will be revoked, but, thus far, the Academy has tweeted, “The Academy does not condone violence of any form…”