In his opening monologue at the 2016 Oscars ceremony, Rock took a jab at Pinkett Smith after she posted a video in which she said she was boycotting the Oscars due to their lack of diversity.
"Jada said she's not coming. I was like, 'Isn't she on a TV show?' Jada's gonna boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties. I wasn't invited!" the comedian quipped. Rock also poked fun at Jada's husband, saying she was mad Will hadn't been nominated for his role in Concussion.
"It's not fair that Will was this good and didn't get nominated. You're right," he said. "It's also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West!"
Just days after the jokes at their expense, Pinkett Smith addressed the monologue and essentially chalked it up to it is what it is.
"Hey look, it comes with the territory, we gotta keep it moving," she said at the time. "We got a lot of stuff we gotta handle, a lot of stuff going on in our world right now. We gotta keep it moving."
Will, who at the time said he was initially taken aback after hearing Jada's video in regard to boycotting the 2016 Oscars, had previously addressed the Oscar snub on Good Morning America, saying boycotting the show had nothing to do with him not getting nominated.
"Had I been nominated and no other people of color were, [Jada] would have made the video anyway. We would still be having this conversation," he said, referring at the time to the Facebook video his wife made asking her fellow actors to avoid the awards ceremony. "This is so deeply not about me. This is about the children that are going to sit down and watch this show and they aren't going to see themselves represented."
Fast forward to 2022, Rock made a joke about Jada's hair after pointing to her from the stage and saying, "Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see it." Jada's disgust was visible on television, prompting Will to get up off his seat, walk up to Rock onstage and slap him in the face.
The sound on the Oscars broadcast suddenly cut out after Rock said Smith's name in reaction. And as the camera panned back to the Oscar nominee, back at his seat, though there was no sound, you could clearly read what Will shouted at Rock.
"Leave my wife's name out of your f**king mouth," Will can be seen yelling back at the comedian.
ET learned that Washington and Perry had a private moment with Will inside the theater during commercial break after the shocking moment. They all hugged, and things seemed fine after. Washington was also seen stepping in between Rock and Will, as Will held hands with his wife.
A source told ET, "The theater was silent after Will got up and hit Chris. No one could tell if it was staged or a joke at first. Then Will started yelling at the top of his lungs and cursing out Chris. Chris was visibly shaken and the whole theater was dead silent."