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All the moments in Will Smith, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Chris Rock’s history that led to THAT Oscars slap

Were there any signs this altercation was brewing?
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The 74th Academy Awards will probably go down in history for one of the most dramatic on-stage moments after Will Smith stormed up to smack Chris Rock in the middle of the ceremony.

In a scene that shocked audiences around the globe, the King Richard actor, who moments later won the award for Best Actor, swung at the comedian after he took a jab at Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith.

“Looking forward to seeing you in G.I. Jane,” he joked, poking fun at Jada’s bald hairstyle by comparing it to Demi Moore’s shaved head in the aforementioned film.

Will smacked Chris live on-air during the 2022 awards show.

(Image: Getty)

Unimpressed by the joke, Will lashed out at Chris, slapping him on stage then yelling from his seat: “Keep my wife’s name out of your f–king mouth.”

The moment left fellow A-listers bewildered while fans watching at home desperately tried to figure out if what had just happened was real or just an elaborate stunt to raise Oscars ratings.

But peeking back into Will and Jada’s history with Chris, it’s not hard to see why the couple wouldn’t be his biggest fans.

To better understand exactly what fuelled this insane 2022 Oscars moment, let’s look back at Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s relationship with Chris Rock.

1995: Chris and Will co-star on Fresh Prince

Way back in 1995 Will Smith was still starring in the role that made him a star on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

For the season six episode “Get A Job” his character had to take a comedian’s sister out on a date as part of a new job, only to discover his date wasn’t what he expected; it was Chris Rock in a wig.

Playing the character Jasmine Perry, Chris seemed to be having a ball in the comedic role while Will seemed just as game for the hilarious set-up.

In fact, their characters even shared a dance and almost kissed, though Will’s character managed to escape at the last moment.

WATCH: Chris Rock guest stars on The Fresh Prince Of Bel Air with Will Smith. Story continues after video.

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1997: Jada appears on The Chris Rock Show

The two actors came together when Jada appeared on the comedian’s TV show during promotion for the film Scream in the late 1990s.

They talked about everything from bad movie scripts, to how Black actors are treated in Hollywood, to her activism.

As their chat wrapped up, Chris presented the actress with a bottle of champagne “because you just did an interview without mentioning the name Will Smith.”

Jada screamed and cheered, clearly enjoying the joke despite teasing Chris saying “that is terrible” and “you told me not to!”.

The pair appeared to part on good terms and there didn’t seem to be any hard feelings about the stunt.

Jada laughed at Chris’ jab about Will.

(Image: YouTube)

2005: Chris and Jada co-star on the Madagascar movies

While they didn’t physically appear together on-screen, Chris and Jada were co-stars in the animated hit movie Madagascar and its sequels in the mid- to late-2000s.

Photos from the press tours showed them looking friendly, often posing together smiling and laughing, suggesting there was no bad blood between them at the time.

Other photos from the ’90s, ’00s and early ’10s showed Chris posing happily with the couple at awards shows and Hollywood events.

Jada, Chris and Will pose together backstage at the Nickelodeon’s 18th Annual Kids Choice Awards in 2005.

(Image: Getty)

2011: Chris takes aim at Will on The Late Show

Back in 2011 Chris appeared on David Letterman’s talk show and joked that Will Smith “messed it up for everybody” when he rocketed to fame in the ’90s and went on to outshine other celebs, Chris included.

“The guy’s already taken parts from me, now his kids are taking parts from my kids,” he joked, before turning to the camera to address the actor.

“Will Smith, don’t you have enough? Damn you Will Smith!”

Though he seemed to be joking at the time, there’s no denying that Will has always enjoyed a higher profile than the comedian. Perhaps a sore spot for Chris?

Chris joked “damn you Will Smith” on TV in 2011.

(Image: Getty)

2016: Chris slams the couple at the Oscars for the first time

Years before the 2022 Academy Awards incident, Chris took aim at the duo in a different Oscars speech, which addressed racism in Hollywood.

While hosting the show, which Jada and Will boycotted due to a lack of diversity, Chris took a swipe at Jada’s career saying: “Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties – I wasn’t invited… that’s an invitation I would not turn down.”

“I understand they’re mad. I’m not hating. Will’s not nominated for Concussion. It’s not fair Will was this good and didn’t get nominated.

“You know what’s also not fair? That Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West,” he continued, referencing one of the actor’s less successful films.

When Will was later asked what he thought of Chris’ speech by a TMZ reporter, he blanked the journalist and kept walking.

Meanwhile Jada kept her cool, telling reporters who approached her at an airport: “It comes with the territory sweetheart.

“We gotta keep it moving. We got a lot of stuff we need to handle, a lot of stuff going on in our world right now.”

Chris made jokes at the couple’s expense in 2016.

(Image: Getty)

2022: Chris takes aim at Jada at the Oscars (again)

This year the comedian targeted Jada once again while on the Academy Awards stage, poking fun at her bald hairdo with a G.I. Jane reference.

The mother-of-two previously opened up about having lost much of her hair to alopecia, writing on Instagram: “Mama’s gonna have to take it down to the scalp so nobody thinks she got brain surgery or something.

“Me and this alopecia are going to be friends … period!”

Despite Jada embracing the condition, Chris’ joke clearly touched a nerve for her husband Will, who stormed the stage and slapped the comedian before warning him to “keep my wife’s name out of [his] f—king mouth”.

Chris appeared stunned by the assault, saying: “Will Smith just smacked the s–t out of me. It was a G.I. Jane joke. That was the greatest night in the history of television.”

Will seemed to address the moment in his acceptance speech.

(Image: Getty)

Reports from the Dolby Theatre where the show was hosted say the smack could be heard through the venue and that actors Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry comforted Will after the altercation.

Later, Will seemed to allude to his attack as he accepted his award for Best Actor for his role in King Richard.

“Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” he said, later adding, “In this business, you gotta be able to have people disrespecting you and you gotta smile and pretend like that’s OK.

“I want to apologise to the Academy, I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees,” he continued.

“Art imitates life; I look like the crazy father just like they said about Richard Williams. Love will make you do crazy things … I hope the Academy invites me back.”

2022: Will apologises to Chris

Will released this statement on Instagram almost 24 hours after the incident.

(Image: Instagram)

After a dramatic 24 hours, Will took to social media to formally address and apologise for his actions on the Academy Awards stage.

He said that though he was furious about Chris’ joke aimed at Jada’s alopecia, his reaction was “unacceptable and inexcusable” before apologising to Chris directly.

“I would like to publicly apologise to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong,” he wrote.

“I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”

The Best Actor winner went on to apologise to the Academy and the many producers, attendees and other staff involved in the awards show who witnessed the assault.

“I would like to apologise to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behaviour has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.”

The star signed off by admitting he is still “a work in progress”.

If you or someone you know has been affected by any of the issues raised in this article, help is always available. Call 1800 RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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