Will Smith Slaps The Living Crap Out Of Chris Rock At The Oscars

Following a joke made by Chris Rock, Will Smith got up onto The Oscars stage and slapped him in the face.

chris rock will smith slap
Wait, was this real? Did Will Smith actually assault Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars? | © Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

Prior to winning Best Actor for his role as Richard Williams in King Richard, actor Will Smith took to the stage in response to a joke made by Chris Rock. In an awkward minute of this week's Academy Awards 2022, Will Smith walked up to Chris Rock – who was doing a short comedy routine on the stage – and punched him straight in the face.

In a show dominated by big-name wins from the likes of Kenneth Branagh's Belfast, The Power of the Dog, and Dune, this was a pretty surprising turn of events. Later in the show, Will Smith apologized for his actions whilst accepting his Best Actor award, saying that "Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family... art imitates life and I look like the crazy father, just like they said... love will make you do crazy things".

Why Did Will Smith Slap Chris Rock?

During the Academy Awards late on Sunday night, Chris Rock was onstage making jokes at the expense of some of Hollywood's finest. After joking about Will Smith winning an award, Chris Rock turned to Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and said "Jada, I love ya. GI Joe 2, can't wait to see it".

The reference being made here was clearly regarding Pinkett Smith's recent opening up about having alopecia. In an Instagram video shared in December of last year, she explained what was going on. Chris Rock's joke referred to her bald head, referencing GI Joe due to her having lost her hair.

An apology to Chris Rock was noticeably absent from Will Smith's apology during his acceptance speech, though we expect that it all might have still been a bit raw at that point. Chris Rock has declined to file assault charges with the LAPD, so Will Smith will not be charged for his actions. Instead, this will go down as one of the most bizarre and absurd occurrences on The Oscars stage.