It was a slap that was witnessed all across the world.
No one at the Dolby Theatre thought Will Smith meant to hit Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife at the Oscars until Rock said, “Will Smith just smacked the s–t out of me.”
The crowd could clearly hear Smith shouting, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—ing mouth!” when he returned to his seat, despite the sound being muted when Smith ran on stage.
One Hollywood source remarked, “We thought it was a tad.” The narrator states, “Then we heard Will yelling.” You couldn’t hear it because it was so loud at the movie.”
Another Hollywood insider told how she witnessed the chaos from the green room. “Everyone became completely still, and everyone was like, ‘What the f—k happened?'”
According to the insider, Smith’s veteran publicist Meredith O’Sullivan Wasson, Academy CEO Dawn Hudson, Oscars producer Will Packer, and Academy president David Rubin entered a private room “very quickly… with tremendous seriousness.”
The insider added, “There was a sensation that something wasn’t quite right with Will.” “As Chris Weinberg, Chris’ manager, went away, I overheard him remark, ‘I’ve got to deal with the LAPD right now.’ ‘I have to figure out what’s going on,’ he said.
The narrator recalls, “Everyone was saying, ‘Holy s—t.'” The bartenders are also on board.
The gravity of the situation was not lost on anyone. ‘Oh, my God, poor Chris,’ someone exclaimed. People were disputing whether Chris’ face was scarlet because he had been struck or because he was flushed.”
Photos were shot after the slap exhibition. Although Rock appeared on stage, talking to a seated Smith as if trying to make peace, a source close to the comedian says he wasn’t. Instead, he responded, “Whoa, whoa, OK, I hear you.” “I’m only here to give the Oscar,” the person explained.
“Does that sound like an apology?” The source has been added. “In actual time, he was the one who was physically abused. He should be considered for an Academy Award for his cool demeanor following the assault.”
According to the insider, as Rock stepped off stage to speak with producers and LAPD cops, he was “shaken.”
“When he left the stage, he was a little shaken.” Producers and LAPD cops led him into a back room and grilled him. Before departing, he went to the writers’ room and spoke with his staff. After all, he’s known these people for a long time. The jokes seemed to go over well with everyone.
“If anything, Regina Hall’s earlier in the evening joke about Will and Jada (which alluded at their open marriage) was in even worse taste,” the insider continued, adding that Rock was uninjured by the slap.
This awards season, Smith, 53, and his 50-year-old wife have been the target of jokes about their marital status, with some speculating that Rock’s remark — “Jada, love you, ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it,” referring to her bald head — was the final straw. Filmmaker Judd Apatow hypothesized that Smith “may have killed [Rock]” in a now-deleted Twitter message. ” That is an outburst of unbridled rage and violence. [Jada and Will] have heard a million jokes about them over the last three decades. They aren’t newbies in the realms of Hollywood and comedy. He’d lost his mind.”
Rock’s joke was not on the teleprompter and was not practiced in rehearsal, according to the Wall Street Journal. Meanwhile, it’s been said that Rock is unaware that Pinkett Smith has alopecia, or hair loss.
After the slap, officers asked Rock if he wanted to press charges against Smith. ” Chris turned down the offer and left shortly after. “He was taken aback and shaken,” the source claimed.
Back in the theater, Denzel Washington, Smith’s longtime mentor and now fellow Oscar winner, was the first to approach his table and offer counsel. “Denzel just stated to me, ‘At your highest moment, be careful,’ because that’s when the devil comes for you,” I said. Later that evening, in his victory speech for Best Actor, Smith added.
Tyler Perry, the Hollywood mogul, and actor Bradley Cooper attempted to calm Smith down during the commercial breaks. Another Oscar nominee, Nicole Kidman, was spotted hugging Smith.
“He was wiping his eyes of tears, he knew it was not good,” Hollywood Writer awards reporter Scott Feinberg said of Smith in the aftermath on Matt Belloni’s podcast, “The Town.”
Smith, on the other hand, made it obvious that he was not going to miss the event. On the show, former Hollywood Reporter editor Matt Belloni claimed, “Everybody started to realize, ‘Oh my God, he’s going to get back up there,’ but they didn’t escort him out.”
On stage, music mogul Diddy sought to calm things down by introducing a 50th anniversary tribute to “The Godfather.”
“OK, Will and Chris, at the Gold Party, we’re going to fix that like family, OK?” referring to Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s post-Oscars afterparty “But for the time being, we’re moving forward with love.” “Everyone, make a racket!”
“Diddy was minutes from being on stage when the smack happened,” a backstage industry source stated. He was attempting to remain in the present time while rehearsing his screenplay.
“As the first-time black producers, he wanted to congratulate Will Packer and Shayla Cowan, as well as the hosts, for a fantastic program.” But he wanted to brighten the room, show Will and Chris that they were family, and reunite them. He hugged Chris backstage, had a private talk with him, and then went to Will in his seat and hugged him as well.”
“It’s up to them how and if they resolve it – to him, his aim was to offer love to them and say a few words of support and be a part of it.”
Smith’s publicist O’Sullivan Wasson was also observed at her client’s side during each commercial break, silently conversing with him until the Best Actor category was presented roughly 40 minutes after the slap. She is thought to have assisted Smith in rewriting his acceptance speech, in which he apologized to the Academy but not to Rock directly for his outburst.
Smith received his first Academy Award for portraying Richard Williams, the father of tennis legends Serena and Venus, in the film “King Richard,” as expected. He ran up onto the stage, kissing his wife.
Despite his acts of aggression, the audience gave him a standing ovation, however Belloni claimed that some in his row refused to clap.
Smith returned to his seat, holding hands with his wife, instead of going to the press room as is customary following a win. In the meantime, his “King Richard” co-star Aunjanue Ellis sat next to him, her hand on his arm, as the three of them watched “CODA” win Best Picture.
Smith, who was born in West Philadelphia and is himself a singer, was subsequently seen at the luxurious Vanity Fair party with his entire family, including children Trey, 29, Jaden, 23, and Willow, 21, dancing to his own hits including “Gettin Jiggy With It.” He and Baltimore-born Jada had uploaded a picture of themselves on Instagram looking tough before the concert. “You can’t bring people from Philly or Baltimore anywhere,” Smith said after the show.
Meanwhile, Rock, 57, attended his pal and multimillionaire manager Guy Oseary’s annual Oscars celebration.
“He’s fine; he went to be with his best friend,” a person close to Rock stated. “At the end of the day, you don’t beat people; it was a joke.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, Rock also made a joke about the slap, in keeping with his character. “I just got punched in the face by Muhammad Ali and didn’t get a scratch,” the comic claimed backstage.
Smith had eventually apologized to Rock on Instagram by Monday afternoon. He wrote, “I’d like to openly apologize to you, Chris.” “I was wrong and out of line.” I’m embarrassed, and my actions do not reflect the guy I aspire to be. Violence has no place in a world of love and peace.”