The slap heard ‘round the world. Will Smith stunned the star-studded audience — and everyone watching at home — when he took to the stage and smacked Chris Rock across the face after the comedian made a “joke” about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair loss at the 2022 Oscars on Sunday, March 27.

“Jada, I love you,” the comic mentioned from the stage, quipping, “G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,” referring to the actress’ buzzed head, as G.I. Jane star Demi Moore wore a comparable model. (Pinkett Smith, 50, has often been open about losing her hair as a result of alopecia.)

As the digicam minimize to the Smiths, the King Richard star, 53 — who later won the Oscar for best actor — appeared to smile at Rock’s joke, whereas Pinkett Smith intensely rolled her eyes. Though it initially appeared that Smith was OK with the quip, he rapidly walked onstage and slapped the Longest Yard actor, 57, throughout the face. Once he returned to his seat, he yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f–king mouth.”

“Wow. Will Smith just smacked the s–t outta me,” Rock mentioned to the viewers earlier than returning to handing out the award for finest documentary.

For his half, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum later referenced — and apologized for — the altercation in his speech when accepting his Oscar for King Richard.

“Oh, man. Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” Smith mentioned, relating his habits to that of Serena and Venus Williams’ father, the function he performed within the movie. “I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people. I know to do what we do, you got to be able to take abuse. You got to be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you got to be able to have people disrespecting you. And you got to smile, you got to pretend like that’s OK.”

The 7 Pounds actor additionally apologized to a number of individuals for his habits — although not explicitly to Rock.

“I want to apologize to the academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees,” he added. “Art imitates life: I look like the crazy father. Just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.”

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He later apologized to the presenter the next day in a prolonged assertion. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris,” Smith wrote through Instagram on March 28. “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.”