Hollywood actor Will Smith punched stand-up comedian Chris Rock for making fun of his wife Jada Pinkett’s appearance in a joke. The incident took place during the screening of the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.
While on stage to present best documentary award, Chris Rock said, “Jada, I love you. GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see you.” A reference to Jada’s bald head due to alopecia. The comment upset Smith so much so that he rushed on to the stage to physically punch the comedian.
After returning to his seat, the ‘King Richard’ star yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out your f**king mouth.” A video of the altercation was posted on Twitter by popular user Timothy Burke.
VIA JAPANESE TELEVISION: The uncensored exchange between Will Smith and Chris Rock pic.twitter.com/j0Z184ZyXa— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 28, 2022
Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett was seen sporting an emerald green gown at the Oscars. Although it remains unclear whether the ‘assault’ was in jest, a Twitter user (@Rocio2026) pointed out that Pinkett has been suffering from an autoimmune disease, leading to loss of hair.
“This joke is of bad taste,” she pointed out. In 2021, Pinkett had opened up about alopecia, an autoimmune disease that leads to the loss of hair in clumps.
Last year, she also posted a picture on Instagram with a shaved head after being inspired to speak out about her hair-loss journey.
Another Twitter user explained the connection between the 1997 movie ‘GI Jane’ and comedian Chris Rock’s comment. The lead character in the movie, Demi Moore, played the role of a ‘bald-headed Lieutenant Jordan O’Neil.
Although there has not been a sequel to the movie, the comedian suggested that a ‘bald’ Jada Pinkett can feature in ‘GI Jane Part 2’. Given that the hair loss is due to the autoimmune disease of Alopecia, many social media users found Rock’s remarks as ‘insensitive.’
The audio was muted by the broadcasters in America after the incident, but viewers in several other countries could hear the fiery retort from Will Smith.
Later in the night, WIll Smith went on to win the Oscar for his performance as Richard Williams in ‘King Richard”. During his acceptance speech, he did apologize to the academy and fellow nominees.