Here’s If Chris Rock Plans to Press Charges After Will Smith Smacked Him in Defense of Jada

Will Smith, Chris Rock
Photo: Christopher Polk for Variety/PMC.

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Hollywood’s biggest night turned into Hollywood’s biggest fight after Will Smith smacked Chris Rock over a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. And ever since, some viewers have wondered: Will Chris Rock press charges against Will Smith for the slap?

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made its stance clear in a brief statement following Will Smith and Chris Rock’s altercation on national television. “The Academy does not condone violence of any form,” read a tweet shared on March 27, 2022. “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.”

The Academy’s response left social media users divided, with some defending Smith’s actions in defense of his wife, while others called for disciplinary action against the Pursuit of Happyness actor. Just moments after the smack that rocked the nation, Smith took home the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance in 2021’s King Richard. His win sparked mixed reactions, and in some circles, social media users are calling for his award to be revoked over his behavior at the 94th Annual Academy Awards.

While the Academy has yet to issue any further statements surrounding the incident between Smith and Rock, rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs revealed to Page Six where the pair stand now after their whirlwind Oscars night. Keep on reading below for what Diddy said—along with everything we know about the Smith and Rock situation as it stands.

Will Chris Rock press charges against Will Smith?

Chris Rock, Oscars 2022

Image: Christopher Polk for Variety/PMC.

So, is Chris Rock pressing charges against Will Smith for smacking him on live television? Here’s what we know. Immediately following the Oscars 2022 ceremony, presenter Diddy confirmed to Page Six that the duo worked out their differences. “That’s not a problem. That’s over. I can confirm that,” Diddy told the outlet. “It’s all love. They’re brothers,” he added.

While Diddy did not offer any additional details about how the pair reconciled following their exchange on stage, TMZ confirmed on March 28, 2022, that Rock had yet to file a police report against the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum. According to TMZ, authorities were aware of the incident that took place at the 94th Academy Awards and were told that Rock declined to press charges at the time. However, TMZ’s report also notes that Rock will still be able to file an investigative report at a later date, should he choose to do so. For now, however, it seems it’s all water under the bridge.

What happened to Will Smith and Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars?

Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith, Oscars 2022

Image: Christopher Polk for Variety/PMC.

In case you missed it live, here’s a play-by-play of what went down between Smith and Rock at the 94th Annual Academy Awards. It all started when Rock got on stage to introduce the award for Best Documentary. Like many presenters, Rock was cracking jokes at members of the audience during his introduction. At one point, he aimed his comedic chops at Smith’s wife, Jada, who sat in the audience next to the King Richard star. “Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see ya,” he said, referring to the 1997 film starring Demi Moore, in which the actress sports a buzzcut.

Initially, Smith was seen laughing from his seat. Jada, however, rolled her eyes at the comment and appeared to be visibly upset. Moments later, Smith sauntered over to the stage where Rock stood and swiftly smacked the comedian across the face. At first, viewers at home and in the audience were confused as to whether the moment was somehow scripted; but the ensuing exchange quickly made clear that this wasn’t planned. “Oh wow,” Rock said, taken aback. “Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me.”

Smith, who had returned to his seat by this point, could be heard shouting at Rock. “Keep my wife’s name out your f—king mouth!” he yelled. “Wow, dude, it was a G.I. Jane joke,” Rock replied, to which Smith shouted once again, “Keep my wife’s name out your f—king mouth!”

Rock conceded. “I’m going to, okay?” he insisted, before mumbling something inaudible. The Saturday Night Live alum then looked backstage as if to confirm whether to proceed as planned. “That was the… greatest night in the history of television,” he said, before moving on and presenting the award.

Why did Will Smith slap Chris Rock?

So, why did Will Smith slap Chris Rock in the first place? For those who are unaware, Jada recently decided to shave her head after revealing her struggle with alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that attacks hair follicles and results in hair loss and balding. She has spoken about her condition publicly, revealing it was a  “terrifying” experience to go through during a 2018 episode of her show, Red Table Talk.

“It was terrifying when it first started,” she said at the time. “I was in the shower one day and had just handfuls of hair in my hands and I was just like, ‘Oh my god, am I going bald?'”

In July 2021, Jada debuted her shaved head after being inspired by her daughter, Willow. The pair shared a selfie on Instagram at the time, which Jada captioned, “Willow made me do it because it was time to let go, BUT…my 50s are ’bout to be divinely lit with this shed.” While Jada has since made light of the situation herself, it’s clear that Rock’s commentary upset her when shared on such a public platform as the Oscars.

What did Will Smith say to Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars?

After shouting at Rock to keep his wife’s name out of his mouth, Smith issued an apology to everyone except the comedian while accepting his award for Best Actor. He began his speech with a reflection on his character, Richard Williams, the real-life father to tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams, whom he played in the 2021 film King Richard.

“Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” Smith said. “In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world. Making this film, I got to protect Aunjanue Ellis, who is one of the most strongest, most delicate people I’ve ever met. I got to protect Saniyya [Sidney] and Demi [Singleton], the two actresses who played Venus and Serena.”

Smith continued, “I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people. Now I know, to do what we do, you’ve got to be able to take abuse. You got to be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you’ve got to be able to have people disrespecting you, and you’ve got to smile and you’ve got to pretend like that’s OK.”

Smith went on to reveal that actor Denzel Washington counseled him following the incident with Rock. “Denzel said to me a few minutes ago, he said, ‘At your highest moment, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you,'” seemingly referring to Rock’s comments. The Bright actor insisted that he wanted only to be “a vessel for love,” before thanking the Williams family for allowing him to be a part of their story.

“I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees,” he added as tears streamed down his face. “This is a beautiful moment and I’m not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me. It’s about being able to shine a light on all of the people – Tim [White, producer] and Trevor [White, producer] and Zach [Baylin, writer] and Saniyya and Demi and Aunjanue and the entire cast and crew of King Richard, and Venus and Serena, the entire Williams family.”

He ended on a note about his character, saying, “Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things,” before joking, “I hope the Academy invites me back.”

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