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This is the dramatic moment some of Hollywood’s biggest stars reacted with shock as they found out that Will Smith had slapped comedian Chris Rock during the Oscars last night.
An extraordinary photograph showed a host of A-listers from Jason Bateman to Sienna Miller and Sarah Paulson to JJ Adams finding out about the incident while at the Vanity Fair Oscars viewing party.
The image shows the reactions of Bateman and his wife Amanda Anka, Taika Waititi, Miller and her beau Oli Green, Sarah Paulson and directors Ron Howard and Abrams and his wife Katie McGrath.
The expressions as the news broke included Thor director Waititi’s open mouth, Bateman’s stunned gaze and Paulson frantically searching on Google as she showed the reaction to Miller on her phone.
Miller appeared to have dashed over with her boyfriend Green, as she looked over Paulson’s shoulder at the news of the incident that will forever mark the 94th annual Academy Awards ceremony.
The picture was tweeted by Vanity Fair fashion writer Derek Blasberg, who wrote: ‘Meanwhile, this is everybody at my table at the Vanity Fair Oscar dinner manically googling WTF Will Smith just said to Chris Rock.’
It comes after Smith, 53, took offence to a gag Rock made on stage about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s short haircut, resulting in him marching on stage to attack Rock before swearing after sitting back down.
Many stars missed out on the awards ceremony in Hollywood and instead watched from a glamorous dinner hosted by the magazine, who later held a star-studded after party for the biggest stars including Smith himself.
Twitter users quickly reacted to the image, hailing it more iconic than Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscars selfie in 2014 – while others lined up to back Smith for standing up for his wife following Rock’s joke.
Rock, a veteran stand-up who has previously made jokes about Will and his wife, upset Smith when he compared his wife’s hair to that of G. I. Jane’s, who has a shaved head. Pinkett Smith suffers from hair loss condition alopecia.
No way! A live image of the moment the Hollywood stars at the Vanity Fair Oscars’ viewing party found out about the altercation has now surfaced online, thanks to Derek Blasberg, who posted the snap to his Twitter page (L-R Katie McGrath, Jason Bateman, Taika Waititi, JJ Abrams, Ron Howard, Oli Green, Sienna Miller, Sarah Paulson, Amanda Anka)
While the Academy audience witnessed the moment in real time, the stars at the Vanity Fair dinner were shocked to hear of the slap moments after it took place.
Speaking at the party P Diddy opened up about his plea for resolution: ‘I was just as shocked as everybody else, but I had just went on how I was feeling, and I thought it was very important to bring love into the room. I think we know both of those guys’ character, and, you know, sometimes s**t happens.’
Meanwhile, Minnie Driver said: ‘We all got to witness something extremely personal. I feel terrible that there was so much emotion happening, that was infront of everybody else. It felt deeply personal.
White Men Can’t Jump actress Rosie Perez said: ‘I just hope they work it out. I don’t even want to go to there, you know what I mean. I just hope they work it out.’
Leslie Odom Jr took a more serious note when asked for his thoughts. ‘This business can sometimes feel like walking around with your skin ripped off,’ he said. ‘It’s a very vulnerable thing, and so I think we saw two artists with their hearts open. It’s a vulnerable moment, sometimes it’s messy, but it’s always beautiful when it’s the truth.’
Meanwhile, Michaela Jane Rodriguez, showed her support for the actor, and said: ‘I was cheering for Will. He’s one of the only black men in that position to have won an award like that, it was really well deserved. I’m here for him.
Shocking: Chris, a veteran stand-up who has previously made jokes about Will and his wife, upset Smith when he compared his wife’s hair to that of G. I. Jane’s, who has a shaved head. Pinkett Smith suffers from hair loss condition alopecia
Shook: After Smith strode out on stage and appeared to smack Rock with an open right hand, Rock staggered and exclaimed ‘wow, Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of me’
When asked about the moment, she added: ‘Sometimes when you’re speaking about somebodies wife, you can’t really help that. That’s what I’ll say.’
Henry Goulding added: ‘I think they’re both legends, there’s something deeper to be discussed. I hope they both step up man to man and figure it all out. Which I’m sure they will.
While Karomo Brown said: ‘Sometimes as celebrities we look at them as if they aren’t human beings, so we poke and poke. That was a high emotion night for Will Smith regardless, but we need to know at a certain pointe everyone breaks.
‘But I think these are two men that will come together, figure it out and say enough in enough, I’m sorry. You know what I mean? I’ve never been in that situation. I can’t condone violence of any nature, but I can understand protecting those you love.’
Will and Jada’s son Jaden appeared to back his father in a since-deleted tweet.
He wrote: ‘And That’s How We Do It.’
The 23-year-old rapper later shared a selfie and said his dad’s acceptance speech for his first Oscar for Best Actor reduced him to tears. In the second deleted post, he wrote: ‘My Dads Speech Made Me Cry.’
Hip-hop legend 50 Cent shared a meme of the moment Will struck Chris with ‘Everybody Hates Chris’ across it, the name of the sitcom the 57-year-old stand-up narrated.
Derek posted the incredible snap alongside the caption: ‘Meanwhile, this is everybody at my table at the Vanity Fair Oscar dinner manically googling wtf Will Smith just said to Chris Rock’
Reaction: Twitter users quickly reacted to the image, hailing it more iconic than Ellen DeGeneres’ Oscars selfie in 2014′
Shook! Many joked about the photo in the comments section of the post
The ‘Candy Shop’ hitmaker joked in the caption: ‘B**** don’t you ever play with me. LOL.’
By contrast, director Judd Apatow hailed the attack ‘pure out of control rage and violence’ and said Will ‘could have killed’ Chris. In a since-deleted post, he wrote: ‘He could have killed him. That’s pure out of control rage and violence. They’ve heard a million jokes about them in the last three decades. They are not freshman in the world of Hollywood and comedy. He lost his mind.
‘Seems like Will Smith’s plan to get comedian and the world to not make jokes about him is not going to pan out. The Williams family must be furious. Pure narcissism.’
Referring to Demi Moore playing GI Jane in the 1997 film, he added: ‘Also — GI Jane was gorgeous. What exactly is insulting about being compared to a ripped, stunning Demi?’
Reinvisioned: The moment was not disimilar to Ellen DeGeneres’ iconic Oscars’ selfie in 2014
Hip-hop legend 50 Cent shared a meme of the moment Will struck Chris with ‘Everybody Hates Chris’ across it, the name of the sitcom the 57-year-old stand-up narrated’
Henry Goulding added: ‘I think they’re both legends, there’s something deeper to be discussed. I hope they both step up man to man and figure it all out. Which I’m sure they will’
Comic Kathy Griffin was also unimpressed. She tweeted: ‘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. (sic)’
While One Direction star Liam Payne told reporters: ‘I believe whatever he felt that he did, he had the right to do.
‘I had to leave my chair I’ll be honest with you, it cut me really deep. Will apologised upon receiving his Oscar and no charges will be made.
There are already calls for the star, 53, to be stripped of the award hours after becoming only the fifth black actor in history to collect the biggest prize in Hollywood for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the father who raised tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams, in ‘King Richard’.
In a rambling acceptance speech a sobbing Smith admitted that ‘love makes you do crazy things’ – but tellingly failed to apologise to Rock for his assault, only apologising to Academy and his fellow nominees. Rock has told LAPD he will not press charges.
Around 40 minutes earlier the comedian had made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. He said: ‘Jada, GI Jane 2, I can’t wait to see it’. Ms Smith has been grappling with hair loss since revealing her alopecia diagnosis in 2018.
The 50-year-old actress rolled her eyes and her husband, considered a shoo-in for the Best Actor gong, appeared to be laughing along with the gag. A giggling Chris Rock then said ‘uh oh’ seconds later as Will Smith suddenly stormed on to the stage and slapped him around the face, with an audible smack. Rock then began rubbing his cheek and said: ‘Wow, Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of me.’
Most of the assembled audience of the world’s biggest stars assembled last night at The Dolby Theatre in LA – and millions of people watching around the world – initially believed it was a prank, continuing to laugh at what had happened.
Moments later US actor Smith was seen swinging at the host of the 94th annual Academy Awards ceremony in LA
But Smith’s meltdown continued when he returned to his seat as he repeatedly screamed: ‘Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth’. The crowd then fell into stunned silence as it became crystal clear the attack was genuine. Chris Rock replied to him saying: ‘I’m going to, okay?’ before laughing uncomfortably saying: ‘That was the greatest night in the history of television’. Smith’s sweary rant was muted by directors because the show’s live broadcast is slightly delayed in the US.
But it was aired in full to some international audiences with the uncut clip already been viewed more than a million times on social media and YouTube in the past few hours.
Any questions over whether the altercation was genuine were answered when just over half an hour later Smith was given the Best Actor award and apologised for the assault. LAPD has since said that Mr Rock has declined to press assault charges – but they will be willing to investigate if he decides to pursue.
In his acceptance speech a crying Smith said: ‘Love makes you do crazy things’, as he clutched his Best Actor Oscar statuette.
Smith, visibly emotional, walked back to his seat in the audience and shouted: ‘Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth’
Smith initially laughed at the gag Rock made about Pinkett Smith’s (right) short haircut. But Ms Pinkett Smith, who has struggled with hair loss after revealing her diagnosis with alopecia in 2018, rolled her eyes at Rock’s mockery
Will Smith used his acceptance speech for his first Academy Award to defend storming onto the Oscars stage and slapping presenter Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s haircut. Smith holds his first Academy Award for Best Actor aloft during his speech
In what should have been the greatest moment of his career, Smith accepted the award and said: ‘You gotta be able to take abuse, and you gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you gotta be able to have people disrespecting you and you gotta smile and you gotta pretend like that`s OK.
‘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.’
It’s like I want to be a vessel for love. I want to say thank you to Venus and Serena. I want to say thank you to Venus and Serena and the entire Williams family for entrusting me with your story. That’s what I want to do. I want to be an ambassador of that kind of love and care and concern.
He went on: I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said. I look like the crazy father just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things’. He added: ‘I’m hoping the Academy invites me back. Thank you’.
Smith’s relationship with his wife had been the butt of jokes during awards season. At the BAFTAs in London a fortnight ago host Rebel Wilson targeted the couple when he won won the Leading Actor award for his role in King Richard. The assembled audience at the Royal Albert Hall, which didn’t include the star who stayed in LA, groaned as she said his ‘best performance in the past year was being OK with all his wife’s boyfriends’ – a nod to Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith’s open relationship.
It came after he recently admitted his wife had ‘never believed in a conventional marriage’ and claims she had an affair. This may explain why he reacted so sensitively to Rock’s joke about her.
Full LAPD statement on Smith slapping Rock
‘LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program.
‘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.’
Journalists covering the awards ceremony from the press area were instructed not to ask any attendees about Smith slapping Rock, according to BBC correspondent David Sillito.
Late Sunday night, the LAPD issued a statement saying that Rock had not filed a police report against Smith, but that if he chooses to do so, police will investigate.
‘LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,’ the statement said. ‘The incident involved one individual slapping another.’
It was not immediately clear whether the Academy would penalize Smith in any way for his outburst.
The slapping incident occurred after Rock cracked jokes about the ‘GI Jane’ haircut — referring to the Demi Moor character who famously had a shaved head — of Pinkett Smith.
The shocking scene, broadcast live around the world, stunned both the live audience at the Dolby Theatre and TV viewers.
After Smith strode out on stage and slapped Rock with an open right hand, Rock staggered and exclaimed ‘wow, Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of me.’
Smith, visibly emotional, walked back to his seat in the audience and shouted: ‘Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.’
The incident that sparked it all, was when Rock looked at Jada, who has a shaved head, and said: ‘Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2’, prompting the actress to roll her eyes. Pinkett Smith has been grappling with hair loss since revealing her alopecia diagnosis in 2018.
After being slapped, Rock appeared shocked and flustered as he tried to resume presenting the best documentary feature category.
‘That was the greatest night in the history of television,’ Rock said, before awkwardly returning to presenting best documentary, which went to Questlove’s ‘Summer of Soul (…or When the Revolution Was Not Televised).’
Vanity Fair executive editor Ramin Setoodeh, who was tweeting live from the ceremony, said that someone who works for the Oscars told him that Rock was not interrupted by Smith at rehearsals yesterday.
‘It was not supposed to happen. It was real,’ he wrote.
After the slap seen round the world, Smith was seen being comforted and consoled by Denzel Washington and actor-producer Tyler Perry.
Bradley Cooper also pulled Smith aside and was seen in close conversation with him.
Setoodeh, watching from inside the theater, said that Smith’s publicist approached him and spoke to him during a commercial break.
Accepting the award, Smith issued a tearful apology for his emotional outburst, saying: ‘I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment’
US actor Denzel Washington and actor-producer Tyler Perry comfort Will Smith after the shocking televised slap. Smith later shared what Washington told him: ‘At your highest moment, be careful because that´s when the devil comes for you.’
Bradley Cooper, consoles Will Smith appear in the audience at the Oscars on Sunday after Smith struck Rock
US actor Will Smith (R) sits alongside US actress Jada Pinkett Smith with the award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for ‘King Richard’ during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood
OSCARS 2022 WINNERS: AT A GLANCE
Jessica Chastain, The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Will Smith, King Richard
Jane Campion, The Power of the Dog
Best Original Song
No Time to Die from No Time to Die
Best Documentary Feature
Summer of Soul
Best Adapted Screenplay
CODA Sian Heder
Best Original Screenplay
Belfast, Kenneth Branagh
Best Costume Design
Best International Feature Film
Drive My Car
Best Supporting Actor
Troy Kotsur, CODA
Best Animated Feature
Best Visual Effects
Best Supporting Actress
Ariana DeBose, West Side Story
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
Best Production Design
Best Original Score
Best Live Action Short
The Long Goodbye
Best Animated Short
The Windshield Wiper
Best Documentary Short Subject
The Queen of Basketball
Smith, who plays Venus and Serena Williams’ father in ‘King Richard,’ later in the show won best actor, his first Oscar.
It meant Smith again took the stage shortly after what seemed likely to be one of the most infamous moments in Academy Awards history.
Smith’s acceptance speech vacillated between defense and apology.
‘Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,’ Smith said in his first remarks. ‘In this time in my life, in this moment I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do.’
He continued: ‘I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people.’
Smith shared what Washington told him: ‘At your highest moment, be careful because that’s when the devil comes for you.’
Ultimately, Smith apologized to the academy and to his fellow nominees, but not to Rock.
‘Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father’ said Smith. ‘But love will make you do crazy things.’
‘Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,’ Smith said in his acceptance remarks. ‘In this time in my life, in this moment I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do.’
‘Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father’ said Smith. ‘But love will make you do crazy things.’
Will Smith accepts the Actor in a Leading Role award for King Richard from Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman, and John Travolta onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre
Will Smith chats with US actresses Demi Singleton, and Saniyya Sidney onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre
Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifa and Will Smith 94th Annual Academy Awards Show in Los Angeles
Jada Pinkett Smith attends the 94th Annual Academy Awards on Sunday in Hollywood
Will Smith is seen after the show at the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California
Inside Will Smith and Chris Rock’s long-running feud: Comedian first made joke about actor’s wife Jada at 2016 Oscars and has continued take jabs at the couple
But it’s not the first time that the movie star has been antagonized by the comedian.
In fact, a feud has been brewing between the pair over the past five years thanks to repeated jokes made at Will’s expense.
When hosting the Oscars back in 2016, Chris got himself into trouble with the actor when he used Will’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith as joke material in his opening monologue.
Will Smith and Chris Rock’s beef explained: Comedian first made joke about actor’s wife Jada in 2016 Oscars and jibed him over exes