Will Smith gets jiggy with it at Oscars party hours after slapping Chris Rock

28 March 2022, 12:10 | Updated: 28 March 2022, 13:36

  • Fresh Prince of Bel-Air slapped comedian Chris Rock at the Oscars
  • The comedian had made a joke referencing Will Smith's wife's Jada's struggle with alopecia
  • Fierce debate rages over whether Will Smith's actions were right, with even British MPs weighing in
  • Calls grow for Smith to be stripped of Oscar
  • Chris Rock says he won't press charges

By Asher McShane

Will Smith brushed off one of the worst scandals in the history of the Oscars, dancing the night away to his hit Gettin' Jiggy With It at the Vanity Fair after-party.

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Will, 55, slapped Chris Rock, and then collected the Best Actor gong, but his win was tainted by the TV punch in front of an audience of millions.

According to the New York Post, the actor and comedian had planned to meet at the Vanity Fair party to reconcile their differences, but it was unclear whether this had taken place.

Will Smith dancing with his Oscar at the Vanity Fair after-party
Will Smith dancing with his Oscar at the Vanity Fair after-party. Picture: Getty

The actor was supported by his wife Jada Pinkett-Smith and their children at the party just hours after he smacked Chris Rock in the face for making a joke about his wife's hair. Jada has been struggling with alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss.

Will Smith, Lupita Nyong'o and Jada Pinkett Smith attend the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones
Will Smith, Lupita Nyong'o and Jada Pinkett Smith attend the 2022 Vanity Fair Oscar Party hosted by Radhika Jones. Picture: Getty

Meanwhile a row broke out over whether he was right to use violence to defend the honour of his wife after Chris Rock made a gag about her alopecia at the Oscars.

Will Smith tearfully apologised after giving the comedian a fierce open-handed slap on stage after Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head by comparing it to the look of Demi Moore in the 1997 movie G.I. Jane.

His actions sparked a huge debate over whether it can ever be right to resort to violence to defend your partner's honour.

Tory MP Simon Hoare posted: "I’d just hope if someone thought it in good taste to make a joke at the expense of a medical condition of my wife then I’d get up and lamp him. The *joke* was tasteless."

But Education Secretary Nadhim Zahawi told LBC: "Violence is never the answer to any problem-solving, as Will Smith admitted himself in that tearful, heart-wrenching apology.

"I think we should also remember - and I'm the Education Secretary - that actually sometimes even a joke can be below the belt.

"When a joke is about somebody's wife and her illness - she has alopecia - it is wrong.

"I think Chris Rock was mistaken to do that to Mrs Smith."

A row has broken out after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock
A row has broken out after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock. Picture: Alamy

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said: "Of course there are circumstances and anybody who insults family members excites something quite emotional in all of us.

"But, on the other hand, to go up and hit someone in that way is wrong, I'm afraid. It was the wrong thing to do.

"It was at the Oscars, it's got all the cameras there, millions of people watching."

Sir Keir said he was "struck by the fact that it didn't appear to me to be completely spontaneous" with Smith appearing to walk up to the stage "quite calmly and then hit someone".

"I'm sorry, for me that's the wrong side of the line."

Actor Denzel Washington is said to have tried to calm down The Fresh Prince, telling him: "“At your highest moment, be careful. That’s when the devil comes for you."

One Direction's Liam Payne defended Will Smith saying: "I believe whatever he felt that he did, he had the right to do.

"I had to leave my chair I'll be honest with you, it cut me really deep."

the actor tearfully apologised on stage following an incident with comedian Chris Rock in which he appeared to hit him during the live awards ceremony.

Philadelphia-born Smith, 53, took offence to a gag made on stage about Jada Pinkett Smith's short haircut, resulting in him marching on stage to confront the comedian.

He appeared to hit Rock before returning to his seat and shouting from the audience to Rock on stage.

Chris Rock had made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head. He said: "Jada, GI Jane 2, I can't wait to see it".

Ms Smith has been grappling with hair loss since revealing her alopecia diagnosis in 2018.

There are calls for him to lose his Oscar over the slap, which breaches The Academy's new code of conduct drawn up in wake of the #MeToo Movement.

Chris Rock also reportedly told the LAPD he does not want to press charges over the incident.

After the slap, Will Smith returned to his seat and began yelling repeatedly at Rock: "Keep my wife's name out of your f***ing mouth".