Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at Oscars prompts response from Academy: ‘Does not condone violence'

Rock’s banter between awards drew personal ire and a physical slap from Smith

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The Academy issued a statement on Twitter after Will Smith walked onstage and slapped Oscar presenter Chris Rock Sunday night.

The tweet, made about two hours after the hit was heard around the world, urged for the focus to be on the winners of the evening.

"The Academy does not condone violence of any form," the tweet read. "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."

Despite the response, "The Last Samurai" producer Marshall Herskovitz stressed that the Academy should do more than just issue a statement.

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"I call upon the Academy, of which I am a member, to take disciplinary action against Will Smith," he tweeted. 'He disgraced our entire community tonight."

Smith, 53, publicly confronted Rock, 57, after the comedian joked about wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s head during the ceremony.

"Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it, all right?" Rock joked, referring to the 1997 film "G.I. Jane," starring Demi Moore, who shaved her head to portray a fictional Navy SEAL candidate.

Pinkett Smith, 50, revealed in 2018 that she was diagnosed with alopecia. The actress has often discussed the challenges of hair loss on Instagram and other social media platforms.

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The joke missed, badly.

Smith walked onto the stage from his front-row seat and took a swing at Rock with an open palm, generating a loud smack. Smith walked back to his seat and shouted for Rock to leave Pinkett Smith alone. Rock replied that he was just making a "G.I. Jane" joke — and Smith yelled back at him a second time.

Smith shouted at Rock to "keep my wife’s name out of your f---ing mouth," and the crowd hushed as it became clear this was no act.

The moment shocked the Dolby Theatre audience and viewers at home. At the commercial break, presenter Daniel Kaluuya came up to hug Smith, and Denzel Washington escorted him to the side of the stage. The two talked and hugged and Tyler Perry came over to talk as well.

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Will Smith, right, hits presenter Chris Rock on stage while presenting the award for best documentary feature at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. 

Will Smith, right, hits presenter Chris Rock on stage while presenting the award for best documentary feature at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.  (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Smith shared what Washington told him: "At your highest moment, be careful because that’s when the devil comes for you.

"I’m hoping the Academy invites me back," said Smith.

Reps for Smith, Pinkett Smith and Rock didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. A spokesperson for the Academy also didn’t immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment concerning whether Smith will indeed be invited back to the Oscars.

Smith went on to win his first-ever Academy Award. However, the confrontation overshadowed his milestone accomplishment. He was previously nominated twice for best actor, for his role in "Ali" in 2002 and "The Pursuit of Happyness" in 2007. In those films, he portrayed real-life characters: Boxing legend Muhammad Ali and Chris Garner, a homeless salesman.

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Bradley Cooper, left, and Will Smith appear in the audience at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

Bradley Cooper, left, and Will Smith appear in the audience at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

This time, Smith won against formidable competition including Andrew Garfield, Javier Bardem, Benedict Cumberbatch and Denzel Washington — who won his first and only best actor Oscar award in 2002 over Smith for "Training Day."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.