Will Smith and Chris Rock have history together.
In one of the more stunning moments in Oscars history, Smith slapped Rock during Sunday night’s Academy Awards after the comedian made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. It’s hardly the first time these three Hollywood power players have crossed paths, though.
In 1995, Rock played a dual role while making a guest appearance on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” with Smith. In the episode, titled “Get a Job,” Will and Carlton compete for a job on Hilary’s talk show.
Will is thrilled when he lands the gig and is more excited when a comedian, played by Rock, says he will appear on the show if his sister has a good time when Will takes her out. Things go awry and high jinks ensue when Will discovers what the sister, also played by Rock, looks like.
“Get a Job,” which was the second episode in the hit sitcom's sixth season, aired Sept. 25, 1995.
Rock’s history with Smith and Pinkett Smith doesn’t end there, though. The three have appeared at awards shows together over the years and Rock worked with Pinkett Smith on the “Madagascar” movies.
During Sunday night’s Academy Awards, Smith stunned viewers and those in the audience when he slapped Rock after the comedian made a joke about Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.
“Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it,” he joked. She revealed in 2018 that she has alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss.
After Rock’s joke, Smith, who would go on to win best actor for his performance in “King Richard,” walked up to the stage and struck the comedian.
“Will Smith just smacked the s--- out of me,” he said.
“Keep my wife’s name out of your f---ing mouth!” Smith shouted twice after returning to his seat.
Smith would later apologize for his actions while accepting his Oscar.
“I want to apologize to the academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees,” he said. He did not offer an apology to Rock or mention his name.
Fallout and reaction after Will Smith smacks Chris Rock at OscarsMarch 28, 202203:37
Rock had previously joked about Pinkett Smith when he hosted the Academy Awards in 2016. During his monologue, he mocked her for boycotting the ceremony because of a lack of diversity.
“Jada said she’s not coming, protest. I was like, ‘Isn’t she on a TV show?’ Jada’s going to boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited!” he said.
Rock also targeted Smith, saying Pinkett Smith was mad he wasn’t nominated for his work in “Concussion.”
“It’s not fair that Will was this good and didn’t get nominated. You’re right. It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for ‘Wild Wild West,’ OK?” he said, referencing Smith’s 1999 film that bombed at the box office.