Award Shows March 30, 2022
Will Smith Was Reportedly Already on Edge Ahead of Oscars Slap
New details have emerged in the aftermath of Will Smith’s altercation with Chris Rock at the Oscars.
Will and Chris shared a heated exchange on the 2022 Oscars stage over a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair — and to the shock of viewers and audience members, it turned physical when Will slapped Chris.
Now, multiple sources tell Page Six that Smith was already on edge leading up to the moment he slapped Rock onstage over the joke.
The paper says some of the tension stems from jokes and jibes about their marriage over the past several months.
While the couple has been candid about their relationship — including taking breaks and having “entanglements” with others — a source says Will was “fed up” with questions and comments about their 25-year-marriage throughout award season.
For example, Oscars co-host Regina Hall rounded up the most eligible bachelors in the room for a funny bit… and included Will. She said, “Will Smith, you’re married but you know what, you’re on the list and it looks like Jada approved you, so you get on up here.”
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The insider, who is said to be close to the Smiths, said, “Will and Jada have taken the high road when it comes to ‘stupid gossip’ about polyamory and Scientology. But they have felt more exposed these past few years and it’s taken its toll.”
Another source said there is history with Will and Chris after jokes made at the 2016 Oscars, including a cutting remark about Jada amid the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
At the time, when many were protesting the show, Chris said onstage, “What happened this year? People went nuts. Spike [Lee] got mad. Jada went mad. Will went mad. Everyone went mad! Jada said she’s not coming. I was like, ‘Isn’t she on a TV show?’ Jada’s gonna boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited.”
He went on, “Her man Will was not nominated for ‘Concussion.’ I get it. You get mad. It’s not fair that Will was this good and didn’t get nominated. You’re right. It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for ‘Wild Wild West’!”
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The Page Six insider claims, “Jibes about their relationship doesn’t bother them — especially bulls--t rumors and gossip.”
The source said of Will and Chris, “This was personal. If someone else would’ve said it, it probably wouldn’t have mattered as much, but this was totally personal stemming from 2016 – and maybe before that.”
Jada was reportedly still hurt by the jokes, and Will wanted to stand up for her.
This year, Chris was presenting Best Documentary when he poked fun at Jada, saying he was looking forward to “G.I. Jane 2.”
Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia, immediately did not look pleased, and Will walked straight onstage and smacked Chris with his open hand.
As Smith walked back to his seat, a clearly shaken Rock said, “Oh, wow — Will Smith just smacked the s—t out of me.”
Rock insisted, “It was a ‘G.I. Jane’ joke,” and Will twice yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—king mouth.”
Rock told him, “I’m going to.”
Reportedly unbeknownst to Chris, Jada suffers from alopecia.
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Smith, who went on to win Best Actor for his role in "King Richard," has issued a lengthy apology on Instagram, calling his behavior “unacceptable and inexcusable.” He wrote, “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive… Jokes at my expense are part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally. 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. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”
“I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world,” Will continued. “I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us. I am a work in progress.”
The Academy condemned Smith’s behavior, announcing it was going to investigate actions it might take in response.
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The Academy said in a statement, "The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night's show. We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct, and California law."
As listed in the Academy's Standard of Conduct, unacceptable conduct includes "physical contact that is uninvited and, in the situation, inappropriate and unwelcome."
The Standards of Conduct also state that if a member is found to have violated the standards, "The Academy may take any disciplinary action permitted by the Academy's Bylaws, up to and including suspension of membership or expulsion from membership."