Entertainment

LAPD issues statement after Will Smith’s Oscar slap of Chris Rock

The Los Angeles Police Department is not investigating the incident that took place on the 94th Academy Awards stage in Hollywood when actor Will Smith slapped host Chris Rock in front of a live audience, as the latter is not pressing charges, the department said in a statement.

“If the party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report,” the department’s statement read, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock

On Sunday evening, Rock’s banter between awards drew personal ire and a physical slap from Smith after the host made a comment about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, who was sitting in the front row with her husband.

Ahead of presenting the best documentary Oscar, Rock made a joke that drew attention to Pinkett Smith’s hair loss condition.

“I can’t wait to see you in ‘G.I. Jane 2,’” Rock said, which drew an eye-roll from Pinkett Smith.

The comment referenced the 1997 film starring Demi Moore, who shaved her head to portray Jordan O’Neil.

Interactions After The Incident

“Uh oh,” Rock then said as Will Smith approached the stage, slapped the host, and returned to his seat.

Will Smith, Right, Hits Presenter Chris Rock On Stage While Presenting The Award For Best Documentary Feature At The Oscars On Sunday, March 27, 2022, At The Dolby Theatre In Los Angeles.
Will Smith, Right, Hits Presenter Chris Rock On Stage While Presenting The Award For Best Documentary Feature At The Oscars On Sunday, March 27, 2022, At The Dolby Theatre In Los Angeles. (Ap Photo/Chris Pizzello)

“Keep my wife’s name out your f— mouth!” Smith shouted twice from his seat.

“I will,” Rock answered before presenting the Best Documentary Feature to Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson’s “Summer of Soul.”

Immediately following the incident, an emotional Will Smith was approached and comforted by Denzel Washington, Bradley Cooper, Tyler Perry and others before he also had an exchange with his public relations person.

Other individuals approached Pinkett Smith, seemingly comforting her, as well, as the network broke into a commercial.

Bradley Cooper, Left, And Will Smith Appear In The Audience At The Oscars On Sunday, March 27, 2022, At The Dolby Theatre In Los Angeles.
Bradley Cooper, Left, And Will Smith Appears In The Audience At The Oscars On Sunday, March 27, 2022, At The Dolby Theatre In Los Angeles. (Ap Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Later in the night, Will Smith was awarded the Oscar for Best Actor for his leading role in “King Richard.”

Smith’s Apology

Smith apologized to many people for his actions during his acceptance, without specifically mentioning Rock.

“Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” the actor said, starting his speech.

Will Smith Recibe El Oscar Al Mejor Actor, Por &Quot;King Richard&Quot;, El Domingo 27 De Marzo De 2022 En El Teatro Dolby En Los Ángeles.

Will Smith recibe el Oscar al mejor actor, por “King Richard”, el domingo 27 de marzo de 2022 en el Teatro Dolby en Los Ángeles.
(Foto AP/Chris Pizzello)

“I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people,” Smith added. “I know to do what we do you’ve got to be able to take abuse. You’ve got to be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you’ve got to be able to have people disrespecting you. And you’ve got to smile and pretend like that’s OK.”

The Oscar was Smith’s first.

The Academy Awards released a statement after the incident saying, “The Academy does not condone violence in any form.”

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