It seems Will Smith was certainly not dwelling on controversial events at last night’s Oscars as he took to the dancefloor after scooping his best actor win…and hitting Chris Rock.
There has never been more to unpack, dear reader.
The King Richard actor was supported by his family, wife Jada Pinkett Smith, and children Trey, Jaden and Willow, on the red carpet for the Vanity Fair Oscars after-party, after one mighty palaver in the Dolby Theater just hours before.
In a shock moment that will remain on the tongue for days to come, and similarly go down in Oscars history, Will walked on stage and slapped Chris after the comedian levelled a joke at Will’s wife Jada’s cropped hair.
In the past Jada has been open about her struggles with alopecia, with many feeling Chris’s joke was ‘ableist’.
Putting on a show of solidarity – with Jaden also sharing a response on Twitter earlier in the night – the Smith family smiled and surrounded Will in front of the cameras, with the award-winning actor proudly holding his statuette aloft.
Inside the party he celebrated with the likes of Lupita Nyong’o (who was sat behind him during the ceremony), Lena Waithe and Trevor Noah, who was seen embracing Jada and posing for photographs.
Will was also captured getting jiggy with it as he danced to a series of his hits, as party-goers gathered around in a circle.
In footage shared by Variety’s Ramin Setoodeh, the star didn’t appear bothered about being captured by everyone’s cameras, as he rapped for the crowd to Gettin’ Jiggy With It as well as Miami and Summertime, with his Oscar in hand.
It came after the Dolby Theater auditorium was left in silence after Will went on stage and hit Chris in front of millions, after the comedian mentioned Jada’s hair in a gag.
Returning to his seat, Smith shouted at Rock: ‘Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth,’ to which Rock responded: ‘Wow, dude. It was a G.I. Jane joke.’
The star looked visibly shaken as he attempted to process the moment, looking to the side of the stage and seemingly stopping himself from saying something, before going on to present the documentary prize (which went to Summer of Soul director Questlove).
While many felt Chris’s joke was offensive, and backed Will’s actions out of loyalty to his partner, others have stood by the comedian for continuing to present despite Will ‘smacking the sh*t’ out of him.
Be that as it may, others were calling on Chris to apologise to Jada, the butt of the joke which prompted the altercation, with Sharon Stone writing on Instagram: ‘I would also like to hear Chris Rock’s apology to Jada.’
Not longer after the altercation, Will went on to win an Oscar for his portrayal of Richard Williams, father to tennis greats Venus and Serena Williams, in director Reinaldo Marcus Green’s biopic King Richard.
In tears as he accepted the gong, Will apologised to the Academy and his fellow nominees, before saying: ‘Love will make you do crazy things’.
He said: ‘Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family.
‘At this time in my life, 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 is one of the strongest, most delicate people I’ve ever met.’
Will added: ‘I’m being called on in my life to love people and to protect people and to be a river to my people.
He continued: ‘I want to apologise to the Academy, I want to apologise to my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment and I’m not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award. It’s about being able to shine a light on all the people…’
‘Art imitates life, I look like the crazy father just like they said about Richard Williams,’ he laughed. ‘But love will make you do crazy things.’
It later emerged Chris declined to press charges, with the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) confirming no police report has yet been filed.
An LAPD spokesperson told the PA news agency: ‘LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards programme.
‘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.’
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