The shocking exchange began when Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.
Pinkett Smith revealed in 2018 that she was diagnosed with alopecia. She has often discussed the challenges of hair loss on Instagram and other social media platforms.
The joke missed, badly.
Smith walked onto the stage from his front-row seat and took a swing at Rock with an open palm, generating a loud smack. Smith walked back to his seat and shouted for Rock to leave Pinkett Smith alone. Rock replied that he was just making a “G.I. Jane” joke — and Smith yelled back at him a second time.
The Los Angeles Police Department said in a statement that it was aware of the incident and that Rock declined to file a police report.
“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.”
After the show, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences issued a statement saying it “does not condone violence of any form.”
Smith declined to speak to the press after the show. Hours after the shocking incident, Smith visited the Vanity Fair Oscar party, waving his best actor Oscar in the air and rapping along to his own songs with wife Jada Pinkett Smith at his side.