Will Smith punches Chris Rock on stage

Online desk |  1 year ago | international

Backstage here in the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, there is a shocked reaction after Will Smith seemingly hit Chris Rock live on stage.

At first, it seemed like a joke or some kind of set-up.

Chris Rock was presenting a category and made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, Will's wife.

"Jada, I love you, G.I. Jane 2, I can't wait to see it."

By the look on her face, she did not appreciate the joke about her appearance.

Will Smith seemed to laugh at first, but he then rapidly got up out of his seat and whacked Rock on the face, or so it looked like.

At this point, everyone still thought it was some kind of joke, but now doubt was starting to creep in.

"Wow, Will Smith just slapped the [hell] out of me," Rock said.

Smith, now sitting back in his seat and visibly angry, then shouted: "Keep my wife's name out your [expletive] mouth."

Still recovering from the punch and looking a bit bewildered, Rock started to defend himself. "Wow dude, it was a G.I. Jane joke."

Smith then shouted a second time. "Keep my wife's name out your [expletive] mouth."

"I'm going to," Rock replied, now looking genuinely shaken.

Viewers at home didn't hear the latter parts of this exchange, as broadcast network ABC cut the sound. Here in the press room though, we heard the full thing on an unedited live feed.

It was clear by the end that this was not a joke. Smith would know better than to drop the F-word on live TV, and Chris Rock was clearly stunned.

Attempting to make light of the situation and realising he'd just made Oscars history, Rock then said: "That was the greatest night in the history of television."

Some background: This is not the first time that Rock has poked fun at Jada Pinkett Smith.

When he hosted the ceremony in 2016, he said Jada boycotting the ceremony over Oscars So White was pointless, because she wasn't invited to the Academy Awards anyway.

Source : BBC