Organisers of the Academy Awards have responded to Will Smith slapping guest presenter Chris Rock in this year’s live broadcast. Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair, comparing her to “G.I Jane”. Jada, who suffers from alopecia, has always been open about her experiences with hair loss and said in the past this is what prompted her to shave her head.
While Jada responded to Rock’s joke with an eye-roll, Will promptly walked on stage and hit the comic, telling him to “leave my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.” The Academy posted a statement on Twitter saying, “The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world.”
Smith, shortly after the altercation, won his first-ever Oscar for his performance in ‘King Richard’. In his acceptance speech, he apologised to the Academy and his fellow nominees but not Rock. “Thank you for this honour. Thank you for this moment, I thank you on behalf of the entire Williams family. I hope the Academy invites me back. Thank you.”