During the 94th annual Academy Awards, Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith‘s shaved head when he suggested she should be cast in G.I. Jane 2. After Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia, rolled her eyes at the comment, her husband approached the stage and slapped the Saturday Night Live alum.
“Will Smith just smacked the s—t out of me,” Rock said in uncensored footage that later circulated online. As he returned to his seat, the King Richard star yelled back at the South Carolina native to “keep my wife’s name out your f—king mouth.”
At the time, a source exclusively told Us Weekly that Rock and Smith did not interact privately after the incident. “Chris is focusing on his tour,” the insider said in late March. “He’s moving on and is looking forward to his upcoming gigs.”
During a comedy show that same month, Rock confirmed that he hasn’t heard from Smith. “I haven’t talked to anyone despite what you may have heard,” the Grown Ups actor told the audience, according to multiple outlets.
The Hitch actor, for his part, issued a public apology for his “unacceptable and inexcusable” actions one day after the awards show. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness,” he wrote via Instagram.
Smith added: “I would also like to apologize to The Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.”
Pinkett Smith, for her part, seemingly responded to the drama when she shared an Instagram quote, which read, “This is a season for healing and I’m here for it.”
Amid the controversy, Smith announced his decision to resign from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. “My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable,” he said in a statement in April, according to Variety. “The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home. I betrayed the trust of the Academy.”
The organization conducted their own investigation into the altercation which concluded with them banning Smith from all Oscars events for 10 years as punishment.
“The 94th Oscars were meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year; however, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on stage,” Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson stated in a letter after the board’s meeting. “During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room. For this, we are sorry. This was an opportunity for us to set an example for our guests, viewers and our Academy family around the world, and we fell short — unprepared for the unprecedented.”
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum reacted to the news, telling Page Six, “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”
Scroll down for every reference Rock has made about the Oscars slap: