The Oscars was briefly pulled off-air after Will Smith aggressively confronted Chris Rock for a poor-taste joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith.
Viewers were met with dead air after Smith walked onto the stage and smacked Rock in the face, before returning to his seat in the audience to yell profanities.
His anger appeared to have been sparked when Rock compared Pinkett-Smith's appearance to that of 'G.I. Jane'. Pinkett-Smith is currently rocking a shaved head due to hair loss caused by alopecia.
In defense of his wife, Smith jumped on stage to hit Rock, before making his way back to his seat from which he yelled, "Keep my wife's name out of your f***ing mouth."
Will Smith slaps Chris Rock across the face after the comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith
Sign up for our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter
The entire altercation seemingly was not staged as both the audience and Rock were stunned by Smith's reaction.
Later on, while P Diddy was introducing a tribute to The Godfather movies, he referenced the altercation and said, "Will and Chris, we’re going to solve that like family. Right now we’re moving on with love."
Social media users quickly tweeted about the encounter which led Australian Oscar viewers to reveal that they did not get the same dead air time as Americans.
UNCENSORED WILL SMITH FOOTAGE AS SHOWN ON AUSTRALIAN TVpic.twitter.com/NcRfdjWxqe
the camera crew after seeing Will Smith take it out on Chris Rock \n #Oscars2022 #Oscarpic.twitter.com/G9H7oxBzMY
— KING CARLOS\ud83d\udc51 (@KING CARLOS\ud83d\udc51)
Smith later won the Oscar for best actor in a leading role, citing Richard Williams' defense of his family as inspiration for his role and his life. "I'm being called on in my life to love people and to protect people," Smith said.
Smith later apologized to The Academy and his fellow nominees, saying, "Love will make you do crazy things."
Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.