Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at Oscars over joke about Jada Pinkett Smith

28 March 2022
Actor Will Smith walked onstage and smacked comedian Chris Rock after he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith. Moments later, he won an Oscar.

What does Jada Pinkett Smith think of her husband slapping the Oscars host? What was it that caused Smith to switch from laughing at Rock’s joke about her “GI Jane” look to, less than 10 seconds later, striding onstage, slapping him, marching back to his seat and shouting to the stage, “Keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth”. After which, in case anyone watching might still have thought it was some kind of pre-rehearsed skit, he shouted the same thing again, and twice as loud.

Rock’s gag was personal. Immediately after he said it, Pinkett Smith went stony-faced. She has previously opened up about having alopecia, and how she at first struggled to cope with her hair loss. Were Smith’s actions an attempt to defend her honour? And even if true, why did he feel the need to resort to violence?