Ending Soon! Save 33% on All Access

Here's Everything We Know About the Will Smith, Chris Rock Altercation at the 2022 Oscars Will Smith defended his wife Jada Pinkett Smith in a jarring on-stage incident during Sunday's Academy Awards.

By Emily Rella Edited by Jessica Thomas

Paul Morigi | Getty Images

It was the slap heard round the world as Will Smith marched on stage during the 94th Academy Awards and delivered a smack to presenter Chris Rock after a joke Rock made about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, didn't land so well with the couple.

Here's everything we know so far.

The slap occurred after Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith

Rock made a joke about Pinkett Smith's shaved head, referring to her as "G.I. Jane." Pinkett Smith revealed in 2018 that she suffers from alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes sufferers to lose their hair.

She gave an update on Instagram in December about her condition. "Now at this point, I can only laugh," Pinkett Smith said in a video she posted to her story at the time.

When Rock made the joke, Pinkett Smith was not amused, and when her husband noticed, his entire face dropped before he headed towards the stage.

Prior to smacking Rock across the face, Smith reportedly said, "Leave my wife's name out of your f**king mouth." Rock made a joke about it after Smith walked back to his seat and appeared to be in good spirits.

The Academy makes a statement on social media

The Academy tweeted out a repsonse to the incident shortly after it ocurred, asserting that the organization "does not condone violence."

Smith won best actor and apologized during his speech

In an emotional speech, Smith talked about being a "vessel for love" and his challenges working in the industry.

"I'm being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people. Now I know, to do what we do, you've got to be able to take abuse," Smith told the crowd. "You got to be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you've got to be able to have people disrespecting you, and you've got to smile, and you've got to pretend like that's OK. What I loved — Denzel [Washington] said to me a few minutes ago, he said, 'At your highest moment, be careful, that's when the devil comes for you.'"

Related: 5 Tips on How to Avoid Losing Your Temper at Work

He then apologized to both the Academy and his fellow nominees, making a note that "art imitates life" before comparing himself to the "crazy father" archetype that Richard Williams embodied. He did not apologize to Rock.

"I hope the Academy invites me back," Smith said.

Chris Rock will not be pressing charges against Smith

The LAPD released a statement revealing that Rock will not be taking any legal action against Smith.

"LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program," the organization said. "The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report."

Smith was seen dancing with his Oscar statuette at the after party

During the famed Vanity Fair Oscars afterparty, Smith appeared to be in good spirits while bopping around to his hit '90s song "Summertime."

Page Six also reported that Rock and Smith made plans to make amends, citing sources, though the report was unconfirmed.

The Academy launches an investigation

Following the incident and Rock's refusal to press charges, The Academy announced that it would be launching a "formal review" around what happened during the show.

"The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night's show. We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law," the Academy told EW in a statement.

Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock via social media

On Monday, the actor took to Instagram to express his remorse and take accountability for Sunday's incident in a lengthy statement.

"Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night's Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable," Smith penned. "I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be."

Smith then apologized to the Willias family, the portrayl of which was the subject of the movie King Richard, where he won Best Actor for portraying Venus and Serena Williams' father, Richard.

"I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us," he said. "I am a work in progress."

Rock has yet to respond.

Jada Pinkett Smith breaks silence on her own social media page

In a subtle move, Pinkett Smith (who was the subject of Chris Rock's joke that instigated Sunday night's incident) posted a quote to her Instagram page.

"This is a season for healing and I'm here for it," the pink square reads.

Emily Rella

Entrepreneur Staff

Senior News Writer

Emily Rella is a Senior News Writer at Entrepreneur.com. Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media. Her coverage spans features, business, lifestyle, tech, entertainment, and lifestyle. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native. Find her on Twitter at @EmilyKRella.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Business News

TikTok Reportedly Laid Off a 'Large Percentage' of Employees as the App's Fate in the U.S. Remains Unclear

Laid-off TikTok employees were notified Wednesday night through Thursday morning.

Business News

More People Are Exploring Entrepreneurship Because of This Unexpected Reason

More new business applications were filed in 2023 than in any other year so far.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Personal Finance

This Investment Bundle Includes a Trading Course and Stock Screener Tool for $150

Approach the stock market with an increased understanding.


8 Subtle Hints that People Don't Respect You — and How to Fix Them

While you have to earn respect, you don't have to deal with disrespect in the meantime.