Moment Denzel Washington and Bradley Cooper calm Will Smith after he slapped Chris Rock

28 March 2022, 08:54 | Updated: 28 March 2022, 11:27

Will Smith appears to hit Chris Rock on Oscars stage after gag about wife Jada

By Megan Hinton

An emotional Will Smith was calmed down by fellow celebrities at the Oscars after he hit comedian Chris Rock on stage after he made a gag about his wife's alopecia.

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Stars Denzel Washington, Tyler Perry and Bradley Cooper stepped in to comfort the star who was seen shedding tears after the emotionally charged incident.

During an ad break break, The Fresh Prince actor was pulled aside and comforted by Denzel Washington and Bradley Cooper, who motioned for him to "brush it off," columnist Scott Feinberg shared on Twitter, together with a short clip.

He said: "Will appears to wipe tears from his eyes as he sits back down with Jada, with Denzel comforting Jada and Will’s rep by his side."

Bradley Cooper embraced the French Prince of Bel Air star on multiple occasions.

Will Smith's son Jaden posted online: "And That’s How We Do It" after the incident.

Read more: Watch the shocking moment Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at the Oscars

Smith went on to win Best Actor for King Richard - his first Oscar since he was first nominated 20 years ago, and during his acceptance speech told the celebrity audience that Hollywood star Washington had shared some sound advice with him.

"Denzel said to me a few minutes ago. In your highest moments, be careful, that’s when the devil comes for you", he said.

During Will Smith's speech, Washington could also be seen looking on in tears.

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Watch slow-motion clip of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars

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, we’ve gotta be able to take abuse. You’ve gotta be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you’ve gotta be able to have people disrespecting you."

He went on to say: "I want to apologise to the Academy. I want to apologise to all my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment and I’m not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me. It’s about being able to shine a light on all of the people.

"Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said. I look like the crazy father just like they said about Richard Williams but love will make you do crazy things."

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Hollywood reacts after Will Smith hits Chris Rock at Oscars

Earlier in the evening, whilst presenting best documentary feature at the Oscars, Rock made a joke about Pinkett Smith’s shaved head by comparing it to the look of Demi Moore in the 1997 movie G.I. Jane.

Rock said he couldn’t wait to see Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia, star in “G.I. Jane 2", which led Smith to go up on stage and slap Rock in the face in what has been called the "most insane moment” in Oscars history.

Rock said on stage: "Will Smith just smacked the s**t out of me."

Smith returned to his seat and shouted: "Keep my wife’s name out of your f*****g mouth!”

"Wow, dude. It was a G.I. Jane joke," Rock replied.

Pinkett Smith announced last year she shaved her head after struggling with alopecia.

In December 2021, she shared a video of her hair loss to Instagram, saying: "You know Mama's going to put some rhinestones in there. I'm going to make me a little crown. That's what Mama's going to do."

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Education Secretary tells Will Smith "violence is never the answer"

The Los Angeles Police Department has since confirmed it is not investigating the incident as Rock "declined to file a police report".

"LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program. The incident involved one individual slapping another," the statement read.

"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."