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“The Academy does not condone violence of any form,” the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences tweeted after the Sunday, March 27, awards show. “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 King Richard star, 53, smacked Rock, 57, as the comedian presented the award for Best Documentary Film. When the Saturday Night Live alum poked fun at Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald head with a G.I. Jane 2 joke, Smith told Rock to keep his wife’s name out of his “f–king mouth.”
The South Carolina native replied, “I’m going to,” before continuing to present the trophy. Questlove took home the award for Summer of Soul.
“@questlove … deserved his moment without that toxic nonsense before him,” Judd Apatow subsequently tweeted of the incident. “I’m glad Chris is OK.”
When Diddy took the stage next to introduce the Godfather tribute, he attempted to lighten the tension. “OK, Will and Chris, we’re going to solve that like family at the Gold Party, OK?” the rapper, 52, said on stage. “But right now we are moving on with love. Everybody make some noise!”
When the record executive spoke to Page Six at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party later that same night, he claimed that the drama between the actors was “over.” Diddy added, “That’s not a problem. … I can confirm that. It’s all love. They’re brothers.”
While Rock has yet to make a statement, Will addressed the altercation during his acceptance speech for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
The Will author, who played Richard Williams in King Richard, said through tears, “I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things. … I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people. I know to do what we do, you got to be able to take abuse. You got to be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you got to be able to have people disrespecting you.”
Prior to his speech, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum was consoled by Denzel Washington and more attendees. The Pennsylvania native shared the 67-year-old Tragedy of Macbeth star’s words of wisdom with the audience, saying, “Denzel said to me, ‘Be careful. At your highest moment, that’s when the devil comes for you.’”
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