Will Smith Slaps Chris Rock on Oscars Stage

Will Smith slaps Chris Rock Oscars

Will Smith assaulted Chris Rock over an alopecia joke about his wife.

King Richard star, Will Smith, physically assaulted Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars, after the comic made a joke about the actor's wife's alopecia.

"Jada, can't wait for GI Jane 2," he said, in reference to her shaved head - which is a result of the hair loss condition alopecia.

Smith casually walked on stage and struck Rock before returning to his seat and shouting: "Keep my wife's name out of your mouth."

The incident sparked one of the most controversial moments in Oscars history. 

Afterwards, during his acceptance speech for best actor, Smith made an apology, saying "I want to apologise to the Academy. I want to apologise to my all my fellow nominees."

The incident left many of the audience, and millions of television viewers, in shock and confusion, more than anything else. At first, it seemed like a joke, a scripted piece of drama, but then, it was apparent that it was more serious then many first thought. 

Immediately after Smith struck Rock, broadcast network ABC muted the sound, in order to avoid offending television viewers.  Academy staffers looked shocked, as did the journalists.

Actor and comedian, Rock, meanwhile, looked visibly shaken, confused, and embarrassed. But, realising he'd just made Oscars history, he made light of the situation, commenting: "That was the greatest night in the history of television."

A joke about alopecia that went wrong 

Smith took offence to a joke that Rock had made in reference to Jada Smith's hair loss condition, alopecia. So, what exactly is alopecia, and why was Rock's joke deemed so offensive? 

Alopecia areata is the medical term for bald. Areata means patchy. This patchy baldness can develop anywhere on the body, including the scalp, beard area, eyebrows, eyelashes, armpits, inside your nose, or ears. In Jada's case, it is alopecia totalis, whereby a person loses all hair on the scalp, so the scalp is completely bald.

Layla Whyte, a sufferer of alopecia for nearly ten years said "I suffer from alopecia but I embrace it, just like Jada has so beautifully done. Chris Rock's behaviour was childish and distasteful, and this really was just inappropriate and honestly a step too far. However, We have been telling our children to avoid violence, no matter the situation, so, to me, Will Smith's behaviour was uncalled for."

It has been confirmed that Rock has not chosen to press charges against Smith. As things stand, Smith no further action will be take against Smith. 

Whatever one's thoughts on the incident, Rock was probably right; this will go down as one of the most talked about moments in the history of awards ceremonies. 

If you are concerned about alopecia, then explore your treatment options with HR23+. 

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