Cardi B, Trevor Noah and More React After Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock at Oscars 2022

Will Smith won the award for best actor in a leading role Sunday night, but it was his actions just minutes earlier that created a viral moment at the 2022 Oscars.

As actor and comedian Chris Rock was speaking on stage, he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith — Smith’s wife — starring in “G.I. Jane 2,” apparently because her head is shaved. She didn’t laugh at the joke.

Smith then appeared walking on stage, smacking Rock with an open hand before returning to his seat. While Rock tried to play it off, telling Smith it was a joke, Smith appeared on camera shouting back at Rock, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f— mouth,” according to streams airing abroad. The audio was censored for U.S. streams.

Smith returned to the stage minutes later for an acceptance speech for “King Richard,” in which he played the leading role. The actor shed tears on stage, apologizing to the academy and his fellow nominees, though not mentioning Rock.

Will Smith confronted actor and comedian Chris Rock on stage after comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, at the 94th Annual Academy Awards.

Mixed responses to the incident poured in online, as some criticized Smith’s actions, while others appeared to take his side. Will and Jada Pinkett Smith’s son, Jaden, appeared to be among those supporting his father, tweeting “And That’s How We Do It” later in the evening. It was unclear exactly what he was referring to.

For full coverage of the 2022 Academy Awards, click here.

Here are some of the viewers’ reactions at home after the scene played out:

Just saw the Will Smith slap. Anyone have a late night show I can borrow just for tomorrow?

— Conan O’Brien (@ConanOBrien) March 28, 2022

I’m tripping that you can assault someone on live television on stage at the Oscars and just take your seat and watch the rest of the show.

— Ida Bae Wells (@nhannahjones) March 28, 2022

At your highest moment …be careful that’s when the devil tries to come for you 🙌🏽

— Cardi B (@iamcardib) March 28, 2022

Wtaf????? That wasn’t scripted????? 😳😳😳😳😳😳😳😳

— Trevor Noah (@Trevornoah) March 28, 2022

#WillSmith says he wants to be a vessel for love. Love is not violent. Love is not what was displayed on a global stage tonight. #Oscars

— Maria Shriver (@mariashriver) March 28, 2022

til tonight I loved will smith – he was wrong – he assaulted his friend on global tv – for making a bad joke – I truly doubt Chris knew it was alopecia – seriously doubt it.

— ROSIE (@Rosie) March 28, 2022

Wow so disappointed in Will Smiths behavior tonight. @chrisrock is a class act he handled himself with true professionalism . Amazing the way he kept it moving👏👏#Oscar

— Margaret Josephs (@MargaretJosephs) March 28, 2022

Never thought the La La land debacle would ever be eclipsed but here we are.

— Natasha Rothwell (@natasharothwell) March 28, 2022

Violence isn’t ok. Assault is never the answer. Also? This is the 2nd time that Chris has made fun of Jada on the #Oscars stage, & tonight he went after her alopecia. Punching down at someone’s auto-immune disease is wrong. Doing so on purpose is cruel. They both need a breather.

— Sophia Bush (@SophiaBush) March 28, 2022

Let me tell you something, it’s a very bad practice to walk up on stage and physically assault a Comedian.

Now we all have to worry about who wants to be the next Will Smith in comedy clubs and theaters.

— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) March 28, 2022

Didn’t know until just this moment about @jadapsmith having Alopecia. She’s wonderful and great. So is @willsmith — which we all know. They’re both phenomenal. But you do NOT do what Will did in that setting. Go backstage and handle that shit if you must. Horrible look!

— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) March 28, 2022

The Will Smith moment will turn political by sunrise.

— Linz DeFranco (@LinzDeFranco) March 28, 2022

Will smith just fully sent it and punched Chris rock in the face on the Oscar’s

— THE CHAINSMOKERS (@TheChainsmokers) March 28, 2022

Will Smith on stage crying. Everyone crying with him. And Chris Rock is backstage like “uhhh I’m the one that got slapped!” #Oscars

— Samuel J Comroe (@SamuelJComroe) March 28, 2022

Y’all can say what’s y’all want about Will Smith but need to learn that a lot of people don’t play about their Wife or Children! Real Talk.

— Kendrick Perkins (@KendrickPerkins) March 28, 2022

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