The Los Angeles Police Department has released a statement addressing a shocking incident at last night’s Oscars ceremony, during which Will Smith walked onstage and slapped host Chris Rock in the face after the comedian made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair.
“LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,” the LAPD said in a statement, obtained by Variety. “The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report.”
The statement continued: “If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”
The fiasco, which occurred on live TV Sunday night, began when Rock, 57, joked “Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see ya.” His quip was in reference to Pinket Smith’s short haircut, which she recently opened up about as being a result of her struggle with hair-loss condition alopecia.
After seeing his wife’s expression of disapproval, Smith stood up from his seat next to her, walked on stage, and smacked Rock in the face before walking back to his spot in the audience.
“Oh wow,” said Rock, clearly shocked. “Will Smith just smacked the s— out of me.”
From the audience, Smith shouted, “Keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth!”
“Wow, dude, it was a G.I. Jane joke,” replied Rock — to which Smith yelled again, “Keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth!”
“I’m going to, okay?” Rock said. After a beat, he continued, “That was the … greatest night in the history of television.” The show continued as Rock presented the next award. Later that night, Smith won Best Actor for his performance as Richard Williams, father of tennis icons Venus and Serena Williams, in King Richard.
“I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees,” he said through tears in his acceptance speech. “Art imitates life: I look like the crazy father. Just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.”
He ended the speech by saying, “Being able to love and care for my mother and my family, my wife … Thank you for this honor. Thank you for this moment. … I hope the Academy invites me back.”
Following the incident, the Academy released a statement: “The Academy does not condone violence of any form. 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.”