Take Three: Will Smith Smacks Chris Rock at the Oscars 2022!


Daniel Tran, Editor

Will Smith took to the stage and slapped Chris Rock. It was the 94th annual Academy Awards, the Oscars 2022 where many celebrities gathered for a chance to win an award. Chris Rock was a presenter for the best documentary award. He made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, who is Will Smith’s wife.

The joke was “Jada, can’t wait for G.I. Jane 2.” It produced a palpable eye roll from her and a laugh from Will Smith. Shortly after, Will Smith took to the stage to smack Chris Rock across the face.

Chris Rock, shocked, tried to play it off the best way he could with “Wow! Wow! Will Smith just smack the [] out of me!” At this point the audience didn’t know what to think, but maybe it was planned and staged.

This was later debunked when Will Smith was heard yelling at Rock twice, “Keep my wife’s name out your [] mouth!” Rock claimed that it was just a G.I. Jane Joke which did not hold well with Smith.

The reason why the GI Jane joke did not sit well with the Smiths was because G.I. Jane is a character from a 1997 movie who is the first woman to go through special operations training like the U.S. Navy SEALs. In the movie, she was nicknamed G.I. Jane in reference to the famous military action star on the Hasbro star, G.I. Joe who also sported a buzzcut.

This joke was not taken lightly as Pinkett Smith has an autoimmune condition called alopecia areata which causes the immune system to attack hair follicles and leads to hair loss. Pinkett Smith has been posting her difficult journey on social media and to see her condition and appearance made into a joke prompted her eye roll and obvious annoyance to this joke.

After winning the best actor award, Smith came onto the stage to thank everyone for the award and to apologize to the other Oscar’s nominees as well as stating how love makes people do crazy things. Crazy things like slapping someone on a national television show at one of the most famous events of the year.

As of right now, Rock has not decided to press charges but has spoken out saying, “I’m still kind of processing what happened. So, at some point I’ll talk about that []. And it will be serious and funny.” Rock will talk about the event when he figures out an appropriate way to address it.

Smith has taken to instagram and posted how the joke about Pinkett-Smith’s hair was too much for him and stated, “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris, I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be.”

In response, Pinkett-Smith has also posted on instagram reading, “This is a season for healing, and I’m here for it.”

On April 1, Smith officially resigned from his Academy membership as this would not allow him to vote and participate in future events. It still remains unclear whether or not he will be able to attend the Oscars next year to present an award as it is traditionally the previous award winner’s responsibility to.

David Rubin, Academy president, accepted the resignation and further stated that, “We will continue to move forward with our disciplinary proceedings against Mr. Smith for violations of the Academy’s Standard of Conduct. The Board will congregate once again on April 18 to determine further consequences for Smith.”