Los Angeles: On the Oscars stage, Rock was presenting the best documentary category.He started by making jokes about the audience members, including Pinkett Smith, who he referred to as “G.I. Jane” because of her short hair(Pinkett Smith has already spoke about her baldness.) Smith walked to the stage shortly after making the joke and slapped Rock across the face. “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth,” he said as he returned to his seat.
NOTE: This video contains coarse language.
During the live telecast, it was unclear if the assault was a planned bit. The audio immediately cut out after Smith slapped Rock, then skipped ahead a few seconds to appear as though Rock had carried on presenting the award, which went to Questlove for Summer of Soul. In uncensored footage of the show, Rock can be heard saying, “Will Smith just smacked the sh*t out of me,” as Smith walks away. “Wow, dude. It was a G.I. Jane joke.”
Rock went on to present the documentary prize to Summer of Soul director Questlove. Immediately after, Sean “Diddy” Combs came onstage to introduce a clip montage celebrating the 50th anniversary of The Godfather. “I didn’t know that this year was going to be the most exciting Oscars ever!” he said. “Okay, Will, Chris—we’re going to solve that like family. But right now, we’re moving on with love.” In the press room, Questlove declined to answer questions about the altercation. Reporters in the press room have also been told they can no longer ask questions about other parts of the show, presumably to head off any more questions about the incident.
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