The 94th Academy Awards saw Will Smith go on stage to slap comedian Chris Rock for making a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith while presenting the best documentary prize.
Rock said that Pinkett Smith could star in ‘GI Jane 2’, because of the actor sporting a bald head. He was referring to the 1997 film ‘GI Jane’, where Demi Moore played a woman trying to break the glass ceiling in the US army as a Navy SEAL sporting a shaved head. However, Pinkett Smith has openly shared her problems with alopecia, which causes hair loss.
The ‘King Ferdinand‘ actor reacted to the joke by going up on stage and slapping Rock. He then returned to his seat, shouting “Keep my wife’s name out of your f**king mouth!”
When Smith won the Best Actor award, he got on stage and issued an apology along with his acceptance speech, saying “I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. 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”.
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Their son, Jaden Smith, however, tweeted in support of his father, saying “And That’s How We Do It”.
The Academy has now weighed in on the incident and issued its statement, which reads “The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world”.
The Los Angeles Police Department told Variety that Rock hadn’t lodged a complaint. Their statement at the time read “LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program. The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report”.