The Los Angeles Police Department addressed the on-stage altercation in a statement to Us Weekly after the Sunday, March 27, awards show. “LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,” the statement read. “The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”
Rock, 57, appeared at the 94th annual Academy Awards to present the trophy for Best Documentary. Before announcing winner Questlove, the Saturday Night Live alum made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith being cast in G.I. Jane 2, seemingly referencing her shaved head. (The Red Table Talk host, 50, has been candid about her experience with hair loss and alopecia over the years.)
The Girls Trip star rolled her eyes at Rock’s crack, but her husband, 53, had a more severe reaction. “Keep my wife’s name out of your f–king mouth,” the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum shouted from his seat after walking up to the stage and slapping Rock in the face.
Smith was consoled by Denzel Washington, Tyler Perry and more stars after the heated exchange as viewers and attendees alike questioned whether the moment was scripted. A source later informed Us that Rock’s joke about the Gotham actress was not originally included during rehearsals.
“Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family,” the first-time Oscar winner began while accepting his trophy. “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 was one of the most strongest, most delicate people I ever met. I got to protect Saniyya [Sidney] and Demi [Singleton], the two actresses that played Venus and Serena. I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people.”
As he concluded through tears, Smith teased that he had transformed into the “crazy father” he played in the critically acclaimed biopic. “Art imitates life,” he said. “I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things. … Thank you, I’m hoping the Academy invites me back.”
Us confirms that Smith did not speak with reporters in the press room following his big win. The Gemini Man star did, however, celebrate at the annual Vanity Fair afterparty. In footage shared via Twitter, the Philadelphia native was seen dancing along to “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” and other ’90s hits with his Oscar in hand.
Neither Smith nor Rock have issued official statements regarding the incident, but plenty of celebrities have weighed in on what went down inside the Dolby Theatre. “And That’s How We Do It,” Jaden Smith tweeted on Sunday after his father’s win. “My Dads Speech Made Me Cry.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences addressed the slap at the end of the ceremony, noting on its official Twitter account, “The Academy does not condone violence of any form. 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.”
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