It was the slap heard around the world.
Will Smith unexpectedly slapped Chris Rock at the 94th annual Academy Awards after the comedian made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
In what was the most-talked-about moment at Sunday’s Oscars, the King Richard star rushed the stage after Rock joked about Smith’s wife and a sequel to the 1997 film G.I. Jane.
Jada, who has been open about her struggle with hair loss caused by alopecia, did not appear amused.
“Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me,” said a stunned Rock after Smith got out of his seat and ran on stage.
“Keep my wife’s name out your fu**in’ mouth!” Smith told Rock during the live broadcast, which was censored in most countries.
“Wow, dude,” Rock said. “It was a G.I. Jane joke.”
“Keep my wife’s name out your fu**in’ mouth,” Smith repeated.
“I’m going to, OK?” Rock said.
Moments later, Smith went on to win his first Oscar for Best Actor for his role as Richard Williams in King Richard. During his emotional speech, he offered an apology.
“I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees,” he said. “Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.”
Added Smith, “Thank you. I hope the Academy invites me back.”
After the wild moment, which Rock called the “greatest night in the history of television,” Smith’s son Jaden shared a message of support for his dad. “And That’s How We Do It,” he tweeted.
Others including 50 Cent, Drake, and Boosie Badazz also weighed in.