One of the weirdest moments in the event's 90+ years just took place...
During the 2022 telecast of this year's Academy Awards, everyone's phone went crazy with texts, tweets, slacks all saying some version of the same things.
"Was that staged?"
"Did that just happen?"
After Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith being bald, Will Smith approached Rock from the crowd and smacked him in the face. It was audible. It was awkward. It was... Oscar history.
“Jada, I love you. GI Joe 2, can’t wait to see it,” Rock said. That's when Will Smith walked up and apparently slapped the presenter.
I mean, that's one way to get people to care about the Oscars...
It seemed pretty real, even though many watching were initially doubtful and thought it was a comedy bit.
Will Smith continued to yell at Rock from the seats once he'd left the stage, silencing the crowd as audience members apparently tried to determine what was going on.
"Keep my wife's name out of your fucking mouth," Will Smith said.
Jada Pinkett Smith has been struggling with alopecia which has led to her hair loss and the decision to shave her head. It seems Rock stepped in it... so to speak.
The incident was captured via international telecasts in Japan and Australia, where you can see it play out uncensored, and with Rock's attempt to normalize afterward.
VIA JAPANESE TELEVISION: The uncensored exchange between Will Smith and Chris Rock pic.twitter.com/j0Z184ZyXa— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 28, 2022
Truly a bizarre moment. If it was staged... these guys deserve best acting awards.
According to Variety, Will Smith’s publicist Meredith O. Sullivan spoke to Smith during the commercial break immediately after.
Rock went on to present the best documentary Oscar to Questlove for Summer of Soul.