Celeb News

Did Will Smith really punch Chris Rock on-stage at the Oscars?

''Leave my wife’s name out of your f---ing mouth.''

By Tina Burke
If you were watching the Academy Awards live in Australia this morning, you might have found yourself wondering: "did I just hear, what I think I heard?" And the answer would be yes.
During the 2022 Oscars, Will Smith walked up on stage and hit Chris Rock across the face before returning to his seat and yelling: "Leave my wife's name out your f---ing mouth."
In the American broadcast the language was muted just in time, based on footage shared by US publications such as Variety, but not here in Australia.
Will Smith hits Chris Rock in the fact at the Oscars. (Image: Getty)
The on-stage altercation came while Chris was presenting an award and made a joke at the expense of Will's wife Jada Pinkett Smith. Chris made a joke about Jada appearing in a GI Jane sequel.
The joke in question referred to the 1997 Demi Moore movie GI Jane, where the actress shaved her head. Jada has recently been very open with fans about suffering hair loss due to alopecia.
Will walked up on-stage and hit Chris across the face, with the comedian clearly in shock at the altercation.
He then returned to his seat and shouted to "keep my wife's name out of your f---ing mouth" twice.
Chris Rock didn't appear to be in on the bit. (Image: Getty)
Viewers at home and even fellow Hollywood stars in the room at the Dolby Theatre were in shock - particularly Lupita Nyong'o, who was sitting behind Will and whose reactions could be seen live on the broadcast.
Much like Lupita, we had no idea whether or not the altercation was real or fake at the time of broadcast.
But the fact that he was swearing and the broadcast was therefore muted in the US, it appears the incident was not in fact a "scripted bit" put on by producers.
Following the altercation, Will was seen being comforted by Tyler Perry and Denzel Washington before returning to his seat. Tiffany Haddish was also seen approaching the couple.
Will also addressed the incident shortly after in his acceptance speech for Best Actor for his role in King Richard.
Chris previously mocked Jada in his opening monologue at the 2016 Oscars. (Image: Getty)
"Denzel [Washington] said to me, at your highest moment, be careful — that's when devil comes for you," he said, before adding through tears, "I want to apologize to the academy, I want to apologize to my fellow nominees."
It's not the first time Will, Jada and Chris have been involved in an Oscars-blow-up.
In 2016 when he hosted the ceremony, Chris joked about Jada announcing she was boycotting the awards due to racism in Hollywood as the #OscarsSoWhite hashtag took hold of social media.
"This is the wildest Oscars to host - no black nominees. People are like 'Chris you should quit!' How come it's only unemployed people that tell you to quit something? I thought about it," Will said in his opening monologue.
"What happened this year? People went mad! Jada went mad! Jada said she's not coming. Isn't she on a TV show?"
"Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties - I wasn't invited... that's not an invitation I would not turn down," the star said at the time, much to the shock of the audience.
This story was originally published on our sister site, WHO Magazine.