The 2022 Oscars had quite a few laughs and jokes throughout the night, but even the best jokes can result in hurt feelings. Chris Rock learned that the hard way when he sent an out-of-pocket joke Jada Pinkett Smith’s way and heard about it from Will Smith. The Oscar-nominated actor didn’t take too kindly to the comedian mocking his wife and dropped an f-bomb over it.
The internet is all up in arms and confused after Will Smith’s reaction to Chris Rock’s joke. Rock made a brief comment about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair, saying he couldn’t wait for GI Jane 2, apparently making a reference to Pinkett’s shaved head. Smith approached the stage and slapped Rock, in a moment that seemingly surprised the comedian. As the two carried on, people took to Twitter wondering what in the hell just happened.
Me during this Chris Rock and Will Smith moment #Oscars pic.twitter.com/idTP8tuRviMarch 28, 2022
At first, some might’ve thought the moment was some elaborate bit. After all, many in the United States didn’t get the full audio exchange between the two. After those with a foreign broadcast started uploading the full audio exchange between the two where Will Smith told Chris Rock to keep Jada Pinkett Smith’s name out of his “fucking mouth,” things got real.
All of us trying to figure out what just happened between Chris Rock and Will Smith. #Oscars pic.twitter.com/qM8LvVIJypMarch 28, 2022
The moment was unbelievable for viewers, especially considering Will Smith’s nomination for Best Actor. To see two respected figures in Hollywood have a heated exchange on live television was unexpected and certainly enough to set the internet on fire.
I’m still in confusion of what just happened between Chris Rock and Will Smith 👀🥴 #Oscars pic.twitter.com/C0G2dGat34March 28, 2022
It didn’t take long for news to come in from the Oscars floor, and reports came in confirming the exchange didn’t happen during rehearsals and that even veteran actor and Oscar winner (and nominee this year alongside Smith) Denzel Washington went to talk to Will Smith during the break. Meanwhile, the internet continued to speculate on the drama and what might come after between Smith and Chris Rock.
Chris Rock got rocked and almost faded into the #Oscars In Memoriam segment 💀💀#Oscars2022 WHAT JUST HAPPENED – you knowWAS THAT REAL – yep pic.twitter.com/WS2TUhFFl0March 28, 2022
Will Smith later won the Oscar for Best Actor and opened his speech describing Richard Williams as a man that protected his family. Smith then continued on with his theme of protection and referenced dealing with criticism as an actor. Smith ultimately twisted the shocking moment into an unbelievably powerful speech and gained back the support of viewers in the process.
“Love will make you do crazy things” – Will Smith ♥️March 28, 2022
Hopefully, the two ultimately talk out the incident and have a chance to talk it all out. The last thing we want is a war between Chris Rock (who has some acting projects of his own on the way) and Will Smith, so here’s hoping cooler heads prevail.
The 2022 Oscars on ABC were certainly a wild ride (thanks in no small part to that moment), but there are other things worth talking about. Check out the full list of 2022 Oscars winners here, and prepare for the coming days of comments about Will Smith and Chris Rock!