At this point, everyone has at least seen a meme of the most talked about event at the 2022 Oscar awards ceremony: The on-stage confrontation between Chris Rock and Will Smith. Yes, that confrontation. The one where Will Smith slapped Chris Rock across the face after a joke about his wife Jada. Smith then continued to yell at Chris Rock from his seat. What many don’t know is about the events that immediately followed that intense interaction. This is what happened.
What Happened Immediately After The Will Smith-Chris Rock Oscars Confrontation
Most of us have probably watched the clips of the whole scene. Chris Rock told a joke referencing Jada Pinkett-Smith’s shaved head. Will Smith, Jada’s husband, did not appreciate the joke, especially knowing that Jada’s hairstyle is not by choice but by necessity. This is because she has alopecia, which has caused her to lose her hair. (1)
In what first seemed like a bit or part of the joke, Will Smith got up on stage and slapped Chris Rock right in the face. He then proceeded to yell at Rock from his seat, telling him to “keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth”.
Chris Rock, on stage, handled the whole thing relatively well. At first, he seemed fine, then he continued on by saying that this was likely one of the most historic Oscars moments ever. Naturally, this isn’t all that happened.
During the First Commercial Break
The executive editor of Variety Ramin Setoodeh tweeted a video of Will Smith during the first commercial break that followed the incident. The video features Smith speaking with his publicist. They also mentioned someone had gone over to Jada’s seat and was standing next to her, as well. Naturally, we can only assume that his publicist was discussing with him how they would handle the situation.
Another journalist who was on the scene, Scott Feinberg of The Hollywood Reporter said that some of Will’s famous friends were also on hand immediately to help him. He said he saw Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry comforting him during the commercial break. It appeared as though they were trying to tell him to just brush it off. Will then sat back down next to Jada, apparently tearful, with Denzel and his publicist at his side.
During the commercial break, Will Smith is pulled aside and comforted by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry, who motion for him to brush it off. Will appears to wipe tears from his eyes as he sits back down with Jada, with Denzel comforting Jada and Will’s rep by his side. pic.twitter.com/uDGVnWrSS2— Scott Feinberg (@ScottFeinberg) March 28, 2022
More Famous Friends
Other famous Oscar attendees also made a point of trying to comfort Will. One of which was none other than Bradley Cooper. A photographer captured him with both of his hands on Will’s shoulders, also attempting to comfort him.
What Else Has Happened?
Later on in the evening, Will Smith of course took the stage a second time. This time, it was to accept his award as best leading actor for his role in King Richard. He got quite emotional in his acceptance speech. Smith talked about how you deal with a lot of criticism when you do the job that he does. He spoke about protecting his family and standing up for them. Finally, he did apologize to the academy and the audience. He never specifically, however, apologized to Chris Rock.
Naturally, as always in this business, the show must go on – and go on it did. After the incident, Chris Rock returned backstage with a very obviously red cheek. Ever the comedian, he still cracked a joke about the situation, though I’m sure he was somewhat shaken and maybe a bit embarrassed by the whole thing.
“That’s the only time you get hit by Muhammad Ali and it doesn’t leave a scratch.” Chris Rock joked backstage. (2)
Sean “Diddy” Combs, later on, told Page 6 that the incident was all over and that the two men were fine with each other. Diddy did not say the pair met up, merely that he spoke to each man individually. According to these conversations he said he had, each person was fine with the other.
“That’s over. I can confirm that,” Diddy told the outlet. “It’s all love. They’re brothers.” (3)
Other sources, however, say that it is not true and that Chris Rock and Will Smith haven’t spoken to each other since. (4)
An Official Apollogy
Since all this happened, will Smith has come out with an official apology via an Instagram post. In the post he clearly give an apology to Christ Rock, which was lacking in his Oscars acceptance speech. Is the apology enough? Let us know in the comments.
- “Will Smith’s PR Consulted Him During the Commercial Break After Chris Rock Slap at the Oscars.” Delish. Mehera Bonner. March 28, 2022.
- “What Chris Rock Said Backstage After the Will Smith Slap, According to Reports.” Best Life Online. Richard Evans. March 28, 2022.
- “Diddy: ‘I can confirm’ Will Smith, Chris Rock settled feud after Oscars 2022” Page Six. March 28, 2022.
- “CHRIS ROCKHASN’T SPOKEN TO WILL SMITH …Didn’t Know Jada Has Alopecia.” TMZ. March 28, 2022.