Movie/review

Photos: Will Smith really did hit Chris Rock at the Oscars

Just moments after slapping presenter Chris Rock hard on live television, Will Smith found himself in tears as he gave his acceptance speech for winning the Oscar for best actor for his performance in “King Richard.”

It was definitely a what’s-he-going-to-do moment, and Smith lived up to expectations. Before his speech was done, he had indirectly explained himself, apologized to the academy and his fellow nominees and told the academy he hoped he’d be invited back.

Chris Rock after he was slapped by Will Smith onstage during the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre.

(Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times)

“Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” Smith said, seemingly alluding to the altercation, which sprang from his protection of wife Jada Pinkett Smith. Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia and has begun shaving her head because of it. Her face had fallen after Rock made a “G.I. Jane” joke at her expense, and her husband leapt to her defense.

Rock had also mocked both actors in his 2016 Oscars opening monologue. The Smiths chose to boycott the show that year in protest of the academy’s lack of diversity, which it has since been working to change.

Will Smith leaves the stage after slapping Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre.

Will Smith leaves the stage after slapping Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre.

(Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre.

Chris Rock during the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre.

(Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Denzel Washington talks to Chris Rock onstage.

Denzel Washington intervenes between Chris Rock and Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith after the incident.

(Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Bradley Cooper comforts Will Smith during the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre.

Bradley Cooper comforts Will Smith during the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre.

(Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Denzel Washington comforts Will Smith during the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre.

Denzel Washington comforts Will Smith during the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre.

(Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Will Smith accepts the award for best actor in a leading role for "King Richard" with wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

Will Smith accepts the award for best actor in a leading role for “King Richard” with wife Jada Pinkett Smith.

(Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith at the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre.

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith at the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Will Smith accepts the best actor award for "King Richard" during the 94th Academy Awards.

Will Smith accepts the best actor award for “King Richard” during the 94th Academy Awards.

(Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Will Smith holds his Oscar for best actor for "King Richard" during the 94th Academy Awards.

Will Smith holds his Oscar for best actor for “King Richard” during the 94th Academy Awards.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Will Smith on the monitor during the Governors Ball at the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre.

Will Smith on the monitor during the Governors Ball at the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre.

(Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)



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