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Will Smith and Chris Rock stun the Oscars into silence following altercation

Will Smith and Chris Rock at the Oscars 2022
(Image credit: Oscars)

The Oscars 2022 saw a clash between Will Smith and Chris Rock stun everyone.

While presenting the Oscar for Documentary Feature, Rock made a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, comparing her hair to G.I. Jane. 

Jada, who previously revealed her alopecia diagnosis – which leads to hair loss – in 2018, looked unimpressed, and shortly afterward her husband stepped onstage and he seemingly hit Rock. It's unclear how severe the contact was.

Smith then shouted "keep my wife's name out your fucking mouth" twice. You can see an uncensored clip of the moment below.

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"Will Smith just smacked Chris Rock and said 'Keep my wife's name out of your FUCKING mouth!' twice after he joked that Jada looked like GI Jane 2," writes Kyle Buchanan, who attended the ceremony, on Twitter (opens in new tab).

At first, there was confusion over whether the moment was staged, but it soon become clear that was not the case.

Per Vanity Fair (opens in new tab): "During the commercial break, reports Rebecca Ford, Denzel Washington pulled Smith over to the side for a conversation, and was kneeling with his arm around Jada Pinkett Smith when the show came back from commercial. Meanwhile in the lobby, people huddled around their phones watching replays of the incident. 'I don't think that's a joke,' one woman said. Two others added, 'Look, we went to rehearsals, and that was not in Chris Rock’s script.'"

The apparent altercation was followed by Puff Diddy introducing a tribute to The Godfather for its 50th anniversary. Smith went on to win the Best Actor award and seemingly addressed the clash with Rock.

"Denzel [Washington] said to me a few minutes ago, at your highest moment, be careful, that's when the devil comes for you," he said: "I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to all to my fellow nominees." 

The Los Angeles Police Department has since released an official statement, saying that Rock will not be pressing charges. 

"LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program," the statement reads. "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 and Rock's moment will surely be the biggest talking point of the 2022 Academy Awards, but other notable moments included Jason Momoa apparently burping into the mic, the first live performance of Encanto's "We Don’t Talk About Bruno," Zack Snyder's Justice League winning the Oscars Cheer Moment, and Army of the Dead winning the Oscars Fan Favorite award.

For more, check out our Oscars 2022 winners list for the latest news on the winners and losers.

Molly Edwards
Molly Edwards

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after I got my BA in English.