Will Smith and his family put up a united front after that infamous Oscars slap

Two women in evening gowns and three men in tuxedos pose for a photo.
Jada Pinkett Smith, left, Willow Smith, Will Smith, Jaden Smith and Trey Smith arrive at Vanity Fair’s Oscar party Sunday night.
(Evan Agostini / Invision / Associated Press)

Will Smith, who won the Academy Award for lead actor on Sunday moments after slapping Oscars presenter Chris Rock onstage during the live telecast, has put on a united front with his family after the instantly infamous moment.

Unexpectedly foreshadowing the attack, the “King Richard” star took to Instagram before the 94th Academy Awards to post a reel of him and wife Jada Pinkett Smith decked out for the ceremony.

His caption: “Me ‘n @jadapinkettsmith got all dressed up to choose chaos.”

Will Smith was right to apologize for his caveman-like behavior slapping Chris Rock. But his instinct to protect his Black wife was absolutely correct.

Chaos, indeed.


Smith sucked the air out of the room after attacking Rock, who was presenting the award for documentary feature, for making a “G.I. Jane” joke about Pinkett Smith’s bald hairstyle. The “Red Table Talk” host has been vocal about her struggles with hair loss caused by alopecia.

At first, Smith laughed at the joke while his wife appeared irked. Then he walked onstage and slapped Rock across the face, walked away and yelled at Rock to keep his wife’s name out of his mouth. The abrupt — and censored, at least in the U.S. — moment had viewers and attendees immediately questioning whether it had been staged.

It hadn’t. And it became the talk of the telecast as the ceremony tried to recover. (And it’s been hotly debated ever since.)

A man slapping another man on a stage
Will Smith, right, slaps Chris Rock onstage at Sunday’s Academy Awards.
(Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Rap mogul Sean “Diddy” Combs, who was the next presenter, said Smith and Rock would work it out. Oscars co-host Amy Schumer briefly alluded to the awkward drama in a later appearance. And Smith apologized to his fellow nominees and the motion picture academy during his tearful acceptance speech. (He did not apologize to Rock or even mention him by name.)

In between, the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star was seen on separate occasions conferring with his publicist, along with Diddy, actors Denzel Washington and Bradley Cooper and producer Tyler Perry during commercial breaks. Images also surfaced of him and Pinkett Smith leaning their heads together in solidarity.

Chris Rock, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith have found themselves at odds before. Remember what happened at the 2016 Oscars?

Maybe Smith thought that what he said during his five-minute speech about being a “fierce defender of his family” and that “love will make you do crazy things” would suffice to address the viral moment. Smith has not since released another statement about the incident and appeared to be all smiles when he celebrated his victory about town.

The actor, 53, and his family — including children Trey, Jaden and Willow Smith — walked the blue carpet at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts at the exclusive Vanity Fair after-party. There, Smith smiled for the cameras and triumphantly posed with his Oscar upon arrival.

Inside, he was flanked by a bodyguard and several members of his entourage, as well as his wife. He took selfies with partygoers, including actors Timothée Chalamet and Sterling K. Brown, and danced to his own hits, including “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It,” “Miami” and “Summertime.”

After a dramatic and tense Oscars night, Will Smith showed up at the Vanity Fair after-party, took photos and danced to his hit ‘Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It.’

He was seen talking with “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah and a number of other stars, as well as happily posing for photos and videos at the shindig’s portrait studio. Willow and Jaden chronicled the moments on their Instagram accounts. So did Vanity Fair and Vogue.

Shortly after the slap, Jaden, 23, tweeted: “And That’s How We Do It” and later defended his father as he made his rounds at the party.

Rock, 57, has not publicly commented on the incident, aside from saying Smith “smacked the s— out of me” onstage and agreeing to stop joking about Pinkett Smith. Backstage, he was later overheard saying, “I just got punched in the face by Muhammad Ali and didn’t get a scratch.” (Smith played Ali in a 2001 biopic.)

Rock’s representatives did not immediately respond to The Times’ request for comment.

The LAPD told The Times on Sunday that the comedian declined to file a police report. However, on Monday, the film academy announced that it had “officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law.”

Whoopi Goldberg, Mark Hamill and Jameela Jamil are among the celebs weighing in on Will Smith attacking Chris Rock at the Oscars. And there’s no consensus.

Diddy said he made good on his showtime promise to help Smith and Rock reconcile.

“That’s not a problem. That’s over. I can confirm that,” the producer, 52, told Page Six. “It’s all love ...They’re brothers.”

But TMZ reported that the two hadn’t settled anything, despite what Diddy claimed. The gossip site reported Monday that Smith and Rock hadn’t spoken since the altercation and that Rock was stunned by the debacle and went straight to his dressing room. He also reportedly didn’t know that Pinkett Smith had alopecia. Other reports said that Rock didn’t write the joke either, but several sources have since said that he ad-libbed the “G.I. Jane” remark.

Smith spent his remarkable 30-year career building toward Sunday’s Oscars triumph. With a single, impulsive act, he turned it into a moment of shame.

Meanwhile, the comments sections of both Rock’s and Smith’s Instagram accounts have filled up with fierce defenders and detractors eager to unpack the jaw-dropping moment.

And Smith himself commented on his “chaos” reel not long after his altercation with Rock.

“You can’t invite people from Philly or Baltimore nowhere!!,” he wrote in the comments section of his Instagram post, referring to his and Pinkett Smith’s hometowns, respectively.