Oscars 2022 — Will Smith’s Violent Outburst Overshadows ‘CODA’s’ Historic Win

will smith crying at the Oscars 2022

Getty Images

The 2022 awards will now forever go down in history as the night the Best Actor winner slapped Chris Rock.

The night should’ve been remembered as a breakthrough for streaming, but the Oscars 2022 will now forever go down in history as the time Will Smith slapped Chris Rock. Buckle up…

What happened between Will Smith and Chris Rock at the Oscars?

Chris Rock, who was presenting the award for Best Documentary Feature, said he was excited to see Jada Pinkett-Smith in G.I. Jane: 2. Smith stormed onto the stage and hit Rock across the face, appearing to exclaim: “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth!”

Obviously shocked, Rock said: “Wow, Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me.” Smith yelled at him again as he was returning to his seat, to which Rock responded “Wow, dude. It was a G.I. Jane joke.”

Watch the uncensored clip here:

What’s the beef?

Pinkett-Smith revealed she had alopecia in 2018. Last July, she shared on Instagram, that she’d shaved her head, writing “Willow made me do it because it was time to let go BUT … my 50’s are bout to be Divinely lit with this shed.” Rock’s joke appeared to refer to the moment in Ridley Scott’s 1997 film G.I. Jane when Demi Moore shaves her head.

Will Smith addressed the conflict in his acceptance speech

Incredibly, Smith won the award for Best Actor for his role in King Richard just minutes later. Clearly still emotional, he apologized, and attempted to draw a comparison between his violent outburst and the character, opening with “Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family.”

“I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees,” he continued, adding “Love will make you do crazy things.”

The Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement later that night that it was aware of the incident, but that the “individual involved has declined to file a police report.”

The Academy followed with a tweet affirming that it does “not condone violence in any form,” adding: “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.”

After the slap, Smith could be seen being consoled by Denzel Washington and Tyler Perry, as audience members milled around in shock:

The complete list of the 2022 Oscar winners

Besides setting a dire example for anger management, Smith’s outburst overshadowed what should’ve been a triumphant night for streaming services. Apple’s CODA, which only received four nominations overall, nabbed the award for Best Picture, beating out Netflix’s Power Of The Dog and Don’t Look Up.

CODA’s Sian Heder won for best-adapted screenplay, but The Power of the Dog’s Jane Campion won best director, making her the first woman to be nominated for that award twice, and the third woman ever to win.

Jessica Chastain won her first Oscar for The Eyes of Tammy Faye, in which she played Tammy Faye Bakker. Chastain used her acceptance speech to draw attention to the “discriminatory and bigoted legislation that is sweeping our country” against the LGBTQ+ community, highlighting Bakker’s compassion toward those groups.

More of the night’s winners (and losers), below.

Best supporting actress

Jessie Buckley (The Lost Daughter)
Ariana DeBose (West Side Story) – WINNER!
Judi Dench (Belfast)
Kirsten Dunst (The Power of the Dog)
Aunjanue Ellis (King Richard)

Best costume design

Cruella – WINNER!
Nightmare Alley
West Side Story

Best sound

Dune – WINNER!
No Time to Die
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story

Best original score

Don’t Look Up
Dune – WINNER!
Parallel Mothers
The Power of the Dog

Best adapted screenplay

CODA (Sian Heder) – WINNER!
Drive My Car (Ryusuke Hamaguchi, Takamasa Oe)
Dune (Eric Roth, Jon Spaihts, Denis Villeneuve)
The Lost Daughter (Maggie Gyllenhaal)
The Power of the Dog (Jane Campion)

Best original screenplay

Belfast (Kenneth Branagh) – WINNER!
Don’t Look Up (Adam McKay, David Sirota)
Licorice Pizza (Paul Thomas Anderson)
King Richard (Zach Baylin)
The Worst Person in the World (Eskil Vogt, Joachim Trier)

Best animated short

Affairs of the Art
Robin Robin

The Windshield Wiper – WINNER!

Best live-action short

Ala Kachuu – Take and Run
The Dress
The Long Goodbye – WINNER!
On My Mind
Please Hold

Best supporting actor

Ciarán Hinds (Belfast)
Troy Kotsur (CODA) – WINNER!
Jesse Plemons (The Power of the Dog)
JK Simmons (Being the Ricardos)
Kodi Smit-McPhee (The Power of the Dog)

Best film editing

Don’t Look Up
Dune – WINNER!
King Richard
The Power of the Dog
tick, tick… BOOM!

Best makeup & hairstyling

Coming 2 America
The Eyes of Tammy Faye
House of Gucci

Best animated feature

Encanto – WINNER!
The Mitchells Vs the Machines
Raya and the Last Dragon

Best documentary feature

Summer of Soul
Writing With Fire

Best documentary short

Lead Me Home
The Queen of Basketball
Three Songs for Benazir
When We Were Bullies

Best original song

Be Alive (King Richard)
Dos Oruguitas (Encanto)
Down to Joy (Belfast)
No Time to Die (No Time to Die)
Somehow You Do (Four Good Days)

Best cinematography

Dune – WINNER!
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
The Tragedy of Macbeth
West Side Story

Best international feature

Drive My Car – WINNER!
The Hand of God
Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom
The Worst Person in the World

Best production design

Dune – WINNER!
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
The Tragedy of Macbeth
West Side Story

Best visual effects

Dune – WINNER!
Free Guy
Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings
No Time to Die
Spider-Man: No Way Home

Best actress

Jessica Chastain (The Eyes of Tammy Faye) – WINNER!
Olivia Colman (The Lost Daughter)
Penélope Cruz (Parallel Mothers)
Nicole Kidman (Being the Ricardos)
Kristen Stewart (Spencer)

Best actor

Javier Bardem (Being the Ricardos)
Benedict Cumberbatch (The Power of the Dog)
Andrew Garfield (tick, tick … BOOM!)
Will Smith (King Richard) – WINNER!
Denzel Washington (The Tragedy of Macbeth)

Best director

Kenneth Branagh (Belfast)
Drive My Car (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)
Paul Thomas Anderson (Licorice Pizza)
Jane Campion (The Power of the Dog) – WINNER!
Steven Spielberg (West Side Story)

Best picture

Don’t Look Up
Drive My Car
King Richard
Licorice Pizza
Nightmare Alley
The Power of the Dog
West Side Story