While presenting the award for best documentary during Sunday night’s broadcast, Rock joked about Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, saying, “Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it.”
Pinkett Smith — who has been open about her struggle with alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that leads to hair loss — rolled her eyes as she sat next to Smith after the joke. But Smith walked up to Rock on stage, struck him across the face and then twice screamed, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth!”
Smith later returned to the stage to accept the Oscar for best actor and apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees, but did not mention Rock.
It’s unclear whether the shocking moment, which happened about 2.5 hours into the show’s 3.5-hour run, had any tangible impact on overall viewership. But the altercation blew up on social media immediately after it happened, which may have drawn some people to tune into the show’s final hour.
The 2022 Oscars did include other notable moments. Apple TV+’s “CODA,” a film about a deaf girl taking care of her parents, became the first film from a streaming service to win best picture. But the Monday-morning chatter was all about Smith and Rock.
— CNN’s Lisa Respers France and Stephanie Elam contributed to this report.