Oscars 2022: Chris Rock's 2016 joke about Jada resurfaces after Will Smith 'slap'

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment UK
·3-min read
(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on March 27, 2022 shows US actor Will Smith (L), US actress Jada Pinkett Smith attend the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 27, 2022 and US actor Chris Rock speaks onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 27, 2022. (Photo by Angela WEISS and Robyn Beck / AFP) / The erroneous mention[s] appearing in the metadata of this photo by Angela WEISS has been modified in AFP systems in the following manner: [Jada Pinkett Smith] instead of [Jada Pink Smith]. Please immediately remove the erroneous mention[s] from all your online services and delete it (them) from your servers. If you have been authorized by AFP to distribute it (them) to third parties, please ensure that the same actions are carried out by them. Failure to promptly comply with these instructions will entail liability on your part for any continued or post notification usage. Therefore we thank you very much for all your attention and prompt action. We are sorry for the inconvenience this notification may cause and remain at your disposal for any further information you may require. - (Photo by ANGELA WEISS,ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images)
r Will Smith (L), US actress Jada Pinkett Smith attend the 94th Oscars at the Dolby (AFP via Getty Images)

Will Smith is the big story of the 2022 Oscars — not for winning his first Oscar for King Richard — but for hitting comedian Chris Rock after he made a joke about his wife Jada while presenting an award.

Smith stormed the stage and hit Rock in the face after the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, just minutes before Smith was named best actor at the ceremony.

The Magic Mike XXL star has previously spoken about her struggles with alopecia and said it is what prompted her to shave her head.

Read more: Will Smith hits Chris Rock over Oscars joke

Referring to Pinkett Smith’s buzzcut, Rock said: “Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2”, prompting the actress to roll her eyes.

After the shocking incident, fans of the Smiths began circulating a previous occasion where Chris Rock had publicly dissed Jada at the 2016 Oscars while he was the main host.

Boston, MA  -   Comedian/actor Chris Rock, right, chats with Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith at Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at TD Garden on Monday, May 21, 2012. Staff Photo by Matthew West.  (Photo by Matthew West/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images)
Chris Rock, right, chats with Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith in 2012. (MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images)

During the stand-up star’s blistering opening monologue, he took aim at the Gotham star’s decision to boycott the event over the diversity row.

“Jada said she’s not coming,” said Rock.

Read more: LAPD not investigating slap

“I was like, ‘Isn’t she on a TV show?’ Jada’s gonna boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited!”

Watch: Will Smith hits Chris Rock

Responding to her Madagascar co-star in an interview after the 2016 ceremony, Jada said: “It comes with the territory, sweetheart.

“Hey look, it comes with the territory but we gotta keep it moving. We gotta keep it moving. We gotta keep it moving.

Chris Rock, executive producer of
Chris Rock, executive producer of "Everybody Hates Chris" and Jada Pinkett Smith, executive producer of "All of Us" (Photo by M. Caulfield/WireImage for The WB Television Network)

“There’s a lot of stuff we gotta handle, a lot of stuff in our world right now. We gotta keep it moving.”

The altercation at the 2022 Oscars left Rock shocked and flustered as he tried to resume presenting the best documentary feature category.

The incident cast a cloud over Smith’s acceptance speech for his first ever Oscar, after he was named best actor for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the father of tennis stars Venus and Serena Williams, in King Richard.

Smith apologised to both the Academy and his fellow nominees, but not to Rock, as he collected his gong, joking that he “looks like the crazy father.”

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 27: Will Smith accepts the Actor in a Leading Role award for ‘King Richard’ onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)
Will Smith accepts the Actor in a Leading Role award for ‘King Richard’ onstage during the 94th Annual Academy Awards. (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images)

Breaking down in tears, he said: “Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family.

“In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling me to do and be in this world.”

He added: “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’ve got to be able to take abuse, you’ve got to be able to have people talk crazy about you in this business.

“You’ve got to be able have people disrespecting you and you’ve got to smile and pretend like that’s OK.”

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting