Speaking on it. Jada Pinkett Smith has officially addressed Will Smith and Chris Rock’s infamous 2022 Oscars scandal, in which the King Richard star slapped the comedian on stage in response to his joke about the Red Table Talk host’s hair loss.
“Now about Oscar night, my deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have an opportunity to heal, talk this out and reconcile,” the Matrix Reloaded star, 50, shared on the Wednesday, June 1 episode of Red Table Talk, adding, “The state of the world today, we need them both. And we all actually need one another more than ever.”
Pinkett Smith also declared her support for her husband, 53, and their nearly 25-year marriage. “Until then, Will and I are continuing to do what we have done for the last 28 years, and that’s keep figuring out this thing called life together,” she added. “Thank you for listening.”
On the night of the 64th annual Academy Awards, Rock, 57, who was presenting an award at the event, made a joke at the Scream 2 star’s expense. “Jada, can’t wait for G.I. Jane 2,” he quipped, referencing her shaved head. (Pinkett Smith has been open about her battle with alopecia, an autoimmune condition that causes hair loss.)
While the Girls Trip star blatantly rolled her eyes at the remark, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum initially seemed to take the comment in stride, appearing to laugh at the joke. Moments later, however, he walked on stage and slapped Rock across the face.
“Oh wow. Wow. Will Smith just smacked the s—t outta me,” the stunned Saturday Night Live alum said in response.
The confrontation didn’t end there. After walking back to his seat, Smith — who later won the Academy Award for best actor for his role in 2021’s King Richard — yelled at Rock, twice, to “keep my wife’s name out your f—king mouth.”
In the aftermath of the incident, the Pursuit of Happyness actor publicly apologized to Rock and resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which also banned him from attending any Academy-related events for 10 years.
For her part, Pinkett Smith began Wednesday’s episode of the Facebook Watch series with a “really important” discussion on alopecia.
“Considering what I’ve been through with my own health and what happened at the Oscars, thousands have reached out to me with their stories,” Pinkett Smith noted. “I’m using this moment to give our alopecia family an opportunity to talk about what it’s like to have this condition and to inform people about what alopecia actually is.”
The Gotham alum, along with her cohosts, mother Adrienne Banfield-Norris and daughter Willow Smith, hosted Niki Ball, whose daughter Rio died by suicide at age 12 after she was bullied for her alopecia.
“With school coming up, we got her that super cute wig, she loved it, and she glowed then. But at school, within a couple of weeks, she was like, ‘I don’t want to wear it anymore, there’s no point.’ She had it ripped off her head,” Ball said, detailing the harassment her daughter endured at the hands of her fellow classmates. “She’d get smacked upside on the head walking down the hallway. And that was within the first two weeks, three weeks. It got really bad for her.”
Pinkett Smith noted that Rio’s story serves as an important reminder for people to gain “an understanding around the devastation of this condition.”
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