WILL Smith laughed at Chris Rock’s joke about his wife before storming on stage and slapping him.
The Oscars were thrown into chaos after the 52-year-old marched on stage and hit the comic in the face after a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, just minutes before Smith was named best actor at the ceremony.
Will Smith laughed at Chris Rock’s joke about his wife at The Oscars 2022 last night
Will gives Chris a slap after storming on stageCredit: AP
Chris looks baffled as Will walks awayCredit: AFP
Will’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith has spoken about her battle with alopeciaCredit: Rex
Smith, who won his first Academy Award for King Richard, invaded the stage after the ex-SNL comedian’s joke about Pinkett Smith’s short haircut.
The Magic Mike XXL star and Red Table Talk host has previously spoken about her battle with alopecia and said losing some of her hair prompted her to shave her head.
But moments before his outburts, Smith was seen chuckling at Rock’s remarks.
Referring to Pinkett Smith’s buzzcut, Rock said: “Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2”, prompting the actress to roll her eyes.
However, Smith walked up on stage and appeared to hit Rock before returning to his seat and shouting twice: “Keep my wife’s name out of your f****** mouth.”
The altercation left Rock shocked and flustered as he tried to resume presenting the best documentary feature category.
The incident also overshadowed Smith’s acceptance speech for his first ever Oscar, after he was named best actor for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, in King Richard.
Smith apologised to both the Academy and his fellow nominees, but not to Rock, as he collected his gong, joking that he “looks like the crazy father.”
Breaking down in tears, he said: “Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family.
“In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling me to do and be in this world.”
He added: “I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people.
“I know to do what we do you’ve got to be able to take abuse, you’ve got to be able to have people talk crazy about you in this business.
“You’ve got to be able have people disrespecting you and you’ve got to smile and pretend like that’s OK.”
He added: “I want to apologise to the Academy, I want to apologise to all my fellow nominees.
“This is a beautiful moment and I’m not crying for winning an award, it’s not about winning an award for me, it’s about being able to shine a light on all of the people.”
He continued: “Art imitates life, I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams, but love will make you do crazy things.”
After paying tribute to his mother and his family he added: “Thank you for this honour, thank you for this moment…I hope the Academy invites me back.”
The Academy later said that it did not “condone violence of any form”.
A tweet on the official Academy account said: “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.”
The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) said no report had yet been filed with the force following the altercation.
“LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards programme,” a spokesperson for the force told the PA news agency.
“The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report.
“If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”
Family drama Coda, which stands for child of deaf adults, was named best picture at the ceremony, while Kotsur made history as he was named best supporting actor.
Jessica Chastain was named best actress for The Eyes Of Tammy Faye, while Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas won best original song for No Time To Die from the James Bond film of the same name.
Disney juggernaut Encanto was named best animated film at the ceremony, while Dune, an adaptation of Frank Herbert’s sci-fi novel, won six Oscars, including a best score win for composer Hans Zimmer.
Chris Rock, 57, got a slap out of nowhereCredit: Rex
Will hit the comic in a shocking outburstCredit: Reuters