Chris Rock and Will Smith at the Oscars. (Image courtesy: AFP)
- Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage
- He did it after Chris made a joke on Will's wife Jada
- Will Smith apologised to Chris Rock later
At the 94th Academy Awards, Will Smith slapping comedian Chris Rock, eclipsed everything else, including his first Best Actor win for King Richard. After the incident, Will Smith's mom Carolyn Smith reacted to her son's first award and of course the slapgate. In an interview with 6abc, she said, "He is a very even, people person. That's the first time I've ever seen him go off. First time in his lifetime... I've never seen him do that." She added, "I know how he works, how hard he works...I've been waiting and waiting and waiting. When I heard the name, I was just, 'Yes!'"
It all started when Chris Rock appeared on the stage to present the award for Best Documentary Feature, where he made a joke about Will Smith's wife and actor Jada Pinkett Smith being in "G.I. Jane" because of her shaved head, which triggered the The Pursuit Of Happyness actor, who hit Chris Rock and returned to his seat and yelled, "Keep my wife's name out of your f*****g mouth." Later, while receiving the Best Actor trophy, Will Smith apologised to the Academy and its nominees.
Will Smith, however, apologised to Chris Rock in an Instagram post later, where he said that he is "embarrassed" about what he did and an excerpt from his post read, "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."
Read his full statement here:
On Tuesday, Jada Pinkett Smith also shared a cryptic post on her Instagram profile, in which she wrote: "This is a season for healing and I'm here for it."
Meanwhile, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences have started a "formal review" of the situation. "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," a statement from the Academy said, news agency AFP reported. On Monday, a brief tweet shared after the Oscars from the Academy's handle said it does not "condone violence of any form."
On Monday, the Academy tweeted a brief statement saying it doesn't "condone violence of any form." Meanwhile, Chris Rock has declined to file a police report, the Los Angeles Police Department said.