When Will Smith marched onto the Oscars stage and smacked Chris Rock, the unpredictable moment served as a jarring interruption to Hollywood’s feel-good celebration.
Best actor winner Will Smith smacked presenter Chris Rock in the face and shouted a vulgarity at the comedian for making a joke about his wife’s hairstyle in a shocking moment overshadowing the Oscars ceremony on Sunday. About 45 minutes later, when accepting his first Oscar for best actor for his role in “King Richard,” Smith apologized to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and his fellow nominees in a tear-filled speech, but not to Rock. The episode upstaged the rest of the 3-1/2 hour show, and was sure to become one of the most memorable moments in 94 years of Academy Awards. It may cost Smith his sterling reputation in Hollywood, but not a criminal charge, at least for now, as Los Angeles police said Rock declined to file a police report. The incident began when Rock was roasting some of the nominees and made fun of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.