During a segment of the Academy Awards Oscar's on Sunday night, actor Will Smith walked up on stage and smacked comedian Chris Rock. This after Rock had made remarks about Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
Smith walked up on stage to the laughing Rock and punched him, then walked back to his seat. "Wow. Wow! Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me," Rock said.
Rock was getting laughs from the crowd, joking about Smith's nomination for best actor in his film King Richard, in which he played the father of Venus and Serena Williams.
"Jada, I love you, GI Jane 2, can't wait to see it," Rock joked, inspiring Smith to get up from his seat, walk on stage, and punch Rock. In the moment after Rock was hit, the sound on ABC's Oscar feed went dead. It was during those moments that Smith cursed at Rock.
"Keep my wife's name out of your f*cking mouth," Smith said upon leaving the stage. Demi Moore had starred in GI Jane, and shaved her head for the role. Jada Pinkett Smith has alopecia, a condition where a person loses their hair.
"Wow, dude, it was a GI Jane joke," Rock said.
Smith was irate, yelling again from his seat "Keep my wife's name out of your f*cking mouth."
"I'm going to," Rock said, "okay? That was the greatest night in the history of television," Rock said.
Speculation circulated that the moment was staged, but Piers Morgan reported to Twitter that "It was real."
"Just seen the uncensored footage," Morgan wrote. "Will Smith hit Chris Rock for cracking a GI Jane joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith (who suffers from alopecia) - then twice screamed 'keep my wife's name out of your f*cking mouth' at him Ugliest moment in Oscars history."
Matt Walsh said that it was "the only entertaining thing that's ever happened at the Oscars in history."
Smith won the Best Actor Oscar for his work in King Richard, and gave an acceptance speech in which he said "Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family." He went on to apologize to the Academy and to the other men nominated for Best Actor alongside of him.
Smith looked near tears as he accepted the award and seemed to ponder what he should say about his previous outburst. "I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world," he said.
"I'm being called on in my life to love people, and to protect people and to be a river to my people," Smith said. "I know to do what we do, you gotta be able to take abuse, you gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business you gotta have people disrespecting, you gotta smile and pretend that's okay."
Smith referenced talking with fellow best actor nom Denzel Washington after the assault on Rock, repeating what Washington said to him "At your highest moment, that's when the devil comes for you."
According to Variety, Chris Rock "declined to file a police report" following the incident. The Los Angeles Police Department issued a statement to the outlet which 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."
Shortly after the Academy Awards issued a statement which read, "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."
This is a breaking story and will be updated.
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