Serena Williams Appears Shocked After Will Smith Strikes Chris Rock at 2022 Oscars

Will Smith took the stage after Chris Rock made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith's hair

Serena Williams appears to have reacted to Will Smith striking Chris Rock onstage at the 2022 Academy Awards Sunday night.

Shortly after the incident — which unfolded after Rock, 57, made a joke about Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith — Williams, 40, posted a video to her Instagram Story, which shows her speechless with her mouth open. In a second video, Williams says: "I just sat down, because I was like, I gotta put that drink down."

As Rock was presenting the award for Best Documentary, he said: "Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see ya." Pinkett Smith has embraced a low shaved haircut after recently opening up living with alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss.

Serena Williams Instagram
Serena Williams Instagram

Smith then walked onto the stage and smacked Rock in the face. "Oh wow," said a seemingly taken-aback Rock as Will made his way back to his seat. "Will Smith just smacked the s— out of me."

For more on the Will Smith-Chris Rock incident at the Oscars, listen below to our daily podcast on PEOPLE Every Day.

"Keep my wife's name out your f—ing mouth!" Smith yelled up to the stage at Rock after taking his seat again.

"Wow, dude, it was a G.I. Jane joke," said Rock — to which Smith replied once again, "Keep my wife's name out your f—ing mouth!"

"I'm going to, okay?" Rock replied, before going on to say, "That was the ... greatest night in the history of television" and presenting the award.

will smith
Chris Rock and Will Smith at the Oscars on March 27, 2022. Robyn Beck/getty

Smith later acknowledged the moment in his acceptance speech after winning Best Actor for his performance as Venus and Serena Williams' father Richard Williams in King Richard, although he omitted Rock from his apology.

"I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees," he said.

Following the incident, the Academy also condemned Smith's actions in a statement: "The Academy does not condone violence of any form. Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world."

Rock has declined to file a police report.

"LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program," the LAPD said in a statement. "The incident involved one individual slapping another. 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," the statement continued.

Related Articles