While presenting the award for Best Documentary at Sunday (27 March) night’s ceremony, Rock addressed Pinkett Smith and appeared to make a jibe about her shaved head.
“Jada, I love you. GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see you,” the comedian said. Pinkett Smith, who announced last year she had shaved her head after being diagnosed with alopecia, looked visibly unimpressed by the gag.
Smith then walked onto the stage and struck Rock in the face, before returning to his seat and shouting: “Keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth.”
Speaking to People, Pinkett Smith’s Girls Trip co-star Haddish said of the altercation: “When I saw a Black man stand up for his wife. That meant so much to me.
“As a woman, who has been unprotected, for someone to say, ‘Keep my wife’s name out your mouth, leave my wife alone,’ that's what your husband is supposed to do, right? Protect you.”
She continued: “That meant the world to me. And maybe the world might not like how it went down, but for me, it was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen because it made me believe that there are still men out there that love and care about their women, their wives.”
Haddish then posed the question: “Would you do that for your wife? Would you say, ‘Keep my wife’s name out your mother f***ing…’ Like, yes! Yes!”
The actor went on to question why Rock didn’t run the joke by the Smiths first as he is a “friend” of theirs.
After the altercation, Smith went on to win the Oscar for Best Actor and apologised to the Academy and his fellow nominees during his speech. However, he did not apologise to Rock.
Just after the altercation, Smith joked that “you can’t invite people from Philly nowhere” on Instagram and was later seen dancing to his own music at the Vanity Fair after-party.