The single most awkward moment at The Oscars just occurred.
Comedian Chris Rock was presenting the award for Best Documentary and, as expected, cracking jokes at the expense of various members of the audience.
However, Rock turned his attention to Jada Pinkett Smith, who was there with her husband Will Smith, and that's when things got serious.
Rock joked that that he was looking forward to seeing "G.I. Jane 2" - a fictitious movie. In G.I. Jane, Demi Moore shaved her head during her try out for the Navy SEALs. Pinkett Smith has recently made public her battle with alopecia and subsequent hair loss.
VIA JAPANESE TELEVISION: The uncensored exchange between Will Smith and Chris Rock pic.twitter.com/j0Z184ZyXa
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 28, 2022
As you can see in the clip above, Pinkett Smith rolls her eyes at Rock, while Smith can initially be seen grinning. However, he then stands up, walks onto the stage, and slaps Chris Rock in the mouth.
After walking back into the audience, Smith then tells Rock to keep his wife's name out of his mouth, twice.
Rock then says "I'm going to, OK" and, after regaining his composure, carries on with his duties.
Some were questioning whether or not the event was staged, but it appears to be genuine. During the following commercial break, Denzel Washington was apparently seen comforting Smith.
During the commercial break, Will Smith is pulled aside and comforted by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry, who motion for him to brush it off. Will appears to wipe tears from his eyes as he sits back down with Jada, with Denzel comforting Jada and Will’s rep by his side. pic.twitter.com/uDGVnWrSS2
— Scott Feinberg (@ScottFeinberg) March 28, 2022
Later in the evening, Smith won his first Oscar, for Best Actor, for his performance in King Richard. You can see part of his acceptance speech below.
Will Smith: "I want to apologize to the Academy and I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees -- this is a beautiful moment and I'm not crying about winning an award...it's about being able to shine light."#Oscarshttps://t.co/EViXaQY1NZ pic.twitter.com/NhyqzDtkf0
— Good Morning America (@GMA) March 28, 2022
Whether you think what Smith or Rock did was right or not, we will be hearing about this for some time to come.