Have Will Smith and Chris Rock made up? Differing narratives emerge after Oscars fight

·Editor, Yahoo Entertainment
·6 min read

A report that Will Smith and Chris Rock have already made up has been greatly exaggerated.

At Sunday's Oscars, Best Actor winner Smith stormed to the stage and hit presenter Rock over a joke the comedian told about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. While it was highly dramatic, with Smith continuing to yell F-bombs at Rock from his seat, Sean "Diddy" Combs claimed they made amends and have already put it behind them. Only it doesn't seem that they have.

Diddy told Page Six at the Vanity Fair after-party, "That's not a problem. That's over. I can confirm that. It's all love. They're brothers."

Combs said they were already moving in a video posted to his Instagram Stories.

"I know s*** is crazy," Combs said in the clip. "You know — s*** happens sometimes. Chris Rock got a chin though," he said of the King Richard star landing a direct hit on the unsuspecting Rock's face during the show. "It's all love" though. "We're going to move on with love."

However, a close friend of Rock's told TMZ on Monday afternoon that he and Smith haven't settled anything. The source said Rock was stunned and went right from the stage to his dressing room and there has been zero communication between the men.

Rock, who made the 2009 documentary Good Hair about the wonders of African American hairstyles, didn't know Jada suffers from the hair loss condition alopecia, his friend told the outlet. His joke prior to Smith storming the stage was that Jada, who has been shaving her head since 2021, could star in a G.I. Jane sequel.

The source said that Rock "doesn't have a mean bone in his body," and wasn't trying to humiliate Jada. Further, he was "shaken and bewildered" by Smith storming the stage. Later that night, he did attend Guy Oseary's Oscars party to try and have some fun after the shocking turn of events.

Reps for Rock and Smith have not responded to Yahoo Entertainment's request for comment.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - March 27, 2022.    Will Smith slaps Chris Rock onstage during the show  at the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre at Ovation Hollywood on Sunday, March 27, 2022.  (Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Will Smith hit Chris Rock during the Oscars telecast on Sunday, March 27, 2022. (Photo: Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)

During the telecast, Smith and his wife, the actress and Red Table Talk host, were the target of more than one joke. After a dig from co-host Regina Hall about the couple's open marriage, Rock took the stage and said Pinkett Smith could star in G.I. Jane 2 with her shaved head.

Jada has been candid about having alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes your hair to come out. In 2018, she called it "terrifying when it first started" because clumps of hair were falling out in the shower. She has said it's not been easy to discuss, but has on her Facebook Watch show Red Table Talk. Last year, she shaved her head after deciding that she was "going to be friends" with her alopecia.

While Smith initially was laughing at Rock's joke, Pinkett Smith rolled her eyes.

The camera cut back to Rock, who laughed at his own joke not landing with the Girls Trip star, and as it did Smith stormed the stage and promptly hit a stunned Rock. When the typically affable Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star returned to his seat next to his wife, he then dropped F-bombs at Rock, saying, "Keep my wife's name out your f***ing mouth."

After the shocking moment, there was a commercial break — during which Denzel Washington, Bradley Cooper and Tyler Perry spoke privately to Smith, calming him down — and when the telecast resumed, presenter Diddy played peacemaker.

"I did not know that this year was going to be the most exciting Oscars ever," Diddy quipped when he took the stage. "Will and Chris, we're going to solve that like family at the Gold Party, OK?" referring to Jay-Z and Beyoncé's post-show bash, which features a no-phones policy. "But right now we're moving on with love."

Smith and Pinkett Smith smiled in response and clapped. Shortly after Smith's big swing, Smith was back on stage — this time invited — when he picked up his Best Actor award for playing Serena and Venus Williams's father.

The acceptance speech was clearly emotional for Smith, who won his first Oscar after three acting nominations. He shed tears on stage as he referenced the Rock drama, speaking of similarities between himself and his character, Richard Williams, saying they were both "fierce defenders" of family.

Smith apologized to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and his fellow nominees for the dustup, but not Rock. The Academy later tweeted about the incident, saying it "does not condone violence in any form."

After his big win, an emotionally shaken-up Smith skipped going backstage to the press room — which is rare. Usually winners go backstage and take questions from the press, being sure to note anyone they may have forgotten in their speech, and then have a playful photo session with their Oscar. He didn't do any of that, leaving Best Supporting Actress Ariana DeBose, Best Supporting Actor Troy Kotsur, Best Actress Jessica Chastain to pose for group photos without him.

Smith did rally for the Vanity Fair party, however. He was all smiles on the red carpet as he arrived flanked by his family, including his wife and three children: Trey, Jaden and Willow Smith. He also posed on the red carpet hamming it up with his Oscar. At the party, he even gleefully danced to "Gettin' Jiggy Wit It as party-goers clustered around him enjoying every moment.

There has been much criticism — as well as some support — of Smith from actors, comedians, politicians and TV hosts.

Organizers of the Oscars considered removing Smith after he hit Rock, but didn't, People magazine reported Monday.

The Academy condemned "the actions of Mr. Smith at last night's show" again Monday. The organization announced a formal review around the incident which "will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law," as there is potential to suspend Smith's membership or expel him.

Rock has declined to press charges, according to the LAPD.

This story was originally published on March 28, 2022, at 10:56 a.m. ET and has been updated to include new information.

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