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Will Smith Hits Chris Rock On Stage at Oscars After Joke

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So what’s that about the Oscars being long and boring?

Amidst the awards, elaborate musical numbers, and the 50th anniversary tributes to The Godfather, there was a shocking and apparently unscripted moment that caught millions of people watching the Oscars live totally by surprise. When Chris Rock came out to present the award for Best Documentary Feature, he made a few jokes — including one about Jada Pinkett Smith, quipping that with her shaved head she looked like she was preparing for a role in G.I. Jane 2. 

Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia, which can cause hair loss, and apparently Will Smith took offense to Rock’s joke. Because he got up from his seat in the front of the Dolby Theatre, walked toward Rock, smacked him right in the face on live television, then walked right back to his seat.

While the audio was largely censored on American television, on Australian TV, the exchange went out sans bleeps or volume cuts. There, you can clearly hear Rock joke “Will Smith smacked the s— out of me.” At that point, Smith, back in his seat, yells out “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—ing mouth.” Rock replies “Wow dude. It was a G.I. Jane joke!” and Smith again repeats, even louder “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—ing mouth!”

At that point, Rock replies “I’m going to, okay?”

The whole sequence was so surreal, it initially seemed like it could be a comedy bit. But given how awkwardly things proceeded from that point forward in the segment, it was not.

So that happened. A few minutes after the incident, Will Smith won the Oscar for Best Actor for King Richard. During his speech he said “Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family. In this time in my life, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world.” He also said he wanted to apologize to the Academy and to all his fellow nominees.

You can see the full list of Oscar winners this year right here.

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