It’s been discovered that Chris Rock’s GI Jane joke regarding Jada Pinkett Smith was a ‘ad-lib’ and not part of the comedian’s script.
Will Smith slapped Rock across the face during the Oscars this weekend after he compared Pinkett Smith to GI Jane, who has been vocal about her battle with alopecia.
ABC’s Rob Mills detailed what was going on behind the scenes when the now-famous moment occurred in an interview with Variety.
When the events transpired, Mills was inside the Oscars production trailer, telling Variety, “Chris Rock came on and he was doing, I believe, humor based on what happened that night as any comedian will do.”
“He’s the one who made the joke.” You could see the joke didn’t go down well with Jada. Then you see Will getting up and walking up.”
The joke wasn’t scripted, according to Mills, and the gravity of the situation was only revealed when the event’s producers heard Rock swear.
“You started to realize this is serious when Chris, who knows the limits of broadcast standards, stated, ‘Will Smith slapped the snot out of me,'” he continued.
“At that point, it became clear that this wasn’t a joke.”
Smith returned to his seat after Rock said those comments, yelling, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f**king mouth!”
Viewers were perplexed as to why Smith was not removed after his rant. When asked if it was taken into consideration, Mills replied he wasn’t aware of any such discussions.
“This was a true billion to one moment where the individual involved in this incident was the likely Best Actor winner,” he said.
“So it’s just a circumstance you don’t really know about, and you’ve got to keep the show running in the interim, and then obviously, AMPAS [Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences] will address it later, in the post mortem,” says the actor.
Smith went on to win Best Actor for his portrayal in King Richard, and used his acceptance speech to apologize to “the Academy” and his “fellow nominees.”
He didn’t apologize to Rock until the next day, when he issued an Instagram statement saying, “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive.” My behavior at the Academy Awards last night was both terrible and inexcusable.
“It’s part of the job to make jokes about me, but one regarding Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to take, and I reacted emotionally.”
“I’d like to apologize to you publicly, Chris.” I was both out of line and incorrect. 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.
“I’d also like to express my regret to the Academy, the show’s producers, all of the attendees, and everyone watching across the world.” I’d like to apologize to both the Williams and King Richard families. I am very sorry that my actions have marred what has otherwise been a wonderful adventure for all of us. “I’m still working on myself.”