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Rock joked about Jada Pinkett’s shaved hairdo – a result of the hair loss condition alopecia.
Presenting the award for best documentary, he said: “Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it, all right?”
Smith walked on stage and slapped Rock before returning to his seat and shouting: “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”
Rock’s joke was in reference to 1997 action film G.I. Jane, in which Demi Moore played the leas role with a bald hairstyle.
Shocked by Will’s response, Chris said: “Wow, Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me.”
Smith later apologised in a tearful acceptance speech for best actor.
Reacting to the confrontation, Nicki Minaj said she believes Chris Rock would not have made a Joke about Jada Pinkett if he had known about her predicament.
She took to Twitter to write:
”I love Chris Rock. I don’t think he would’ve made that joke had he known what Jada recently shared- but between him & the whole team @ the #Oscars you mean to tell me not ONE of y’all heard this woman just share this heartbreaking story?#ComeOnSon
”The husband gets a front row seat to his wife’s pain… he’s the 1 consoling her… drying her tears behind closed doors when those cameras go off. Social media has made ppl feel that these “husbands” won’t ever run into them in real life.
”You just got to witness in real time what happens in a man’s soul when he looks over to the woman he loves & sees her holding back tears from a “little joke” at her expense. This is what any & every real man feels in that instant. while y’all seeing the joke he’s seeing her pain
”Imagine what it must feel like to be losing your hair to the point where you have to shave it bald. You think that’s easy to deal with for anyone? You don’t think she’s cried about that many times? 2022 y’all gon have to see these men about those jokes you made about their wives.”