In what may go down as one of the most shocking moments in the history of Academy Awards, popular Hollywood star Will Smith stormed onto the stage and punched and swore at presenter Chris Rock, who made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett.
The incident from the star-studded event went viral in absolutely no time, with some people wondering if the entire episode was scripted or genuine.
Rock had cracked a joke comparing Jada Pinkett’s tightly cropped hair to Demi Moore’s appearance in the 1997 film G.I. Jane and suggesting she appear in a sequel. He said this because Pinkett is currently rocking a bald hairstyle due to alopecia. She publicly revealed her diagnosis in 2018.
The joke did not go down well with Smith who strode up to the stage and smacked Rock across the face before walking back to his seat alongside Jada and shouting profanities.
“Keep my wife’s name out of your f*****g mouth,” Smith shouted, forcing the producers to bleep out several seconds of audio from the televised broadcast in the United States. However, other international broadcasts revealed what was said live.
In his emotional speech soon after winning Best Actor for King Richard (2021), a tearful Will Smith apologised to the Academy, saying, “I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment and I am not crying for winning an award. It is not about winning an award for me. It is about being able to shine a light on all of the people.”
He added, “Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. Love will make you do crazy things.”
As per reports, the Los Angeles Police Department spoke with Rock soon after the incident. Rock, however, chose not to file a report with the LAPD, meaning Smith will not be charged with or arrested for assault.
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.
Later, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released a statement regarding the incident, saying “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.”
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