Chris Got Rocked: The 2022 Oscars


Chris Rock and Will Smith on stage, immediately after Smith slapped Rock. Credit: NEILSON BARNARD/GETTY

Last night’s apparently unscripted moment between Chris Rock and Will Smith at the 2022 Oscars left viewers utterly stunned with what they just witnessed on their TV screens. The incident occurred when Chris Rock appeared on stage to announce the winner for Best Documentary. In his speech he joked to Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who was in the audience sitting next to Smith. “Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see ya,”  said Chris Rock to Jada. This is a pretty insensitive joke as Jada battles with an autoimmune disorder called alopecia, which causes her hair loss. The relation of the joke is that the main character in G.I. Jane is also a bald woman. When this joke was said, Smith laughed from his seat until turning to see an unamused expression from his wife, Jada’s face.  Seeing this, Smith went onto the stage and smacked Rock across the face. 

“Oh wow, Will Smith just smacked the sh– out of me,” said seemingly taken-aback Rock as Smith started going back to his seat . 

“Keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth!” Smith yelled up to the stage at Rock after taking his seat. 

“Wow, dude, it was a G.I. Jane joke,” said Rock. Smith then replied again by saying “Keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth!”

“I’m going to, okay?” Rock replied, before going on to say, “That was the … greatest night in the history of television.” He then continued his speech and presented the award. 

Smith went on to win the award for Best Actor, later that night.

The academy released a response at 1 AM on March 28th in response to the incident that aired on live television. “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 organization tweeted on Twitter. They then continued to shift the focus away from the incident to focus on the newest Oscar award winners.