A History of Will Smith and Chris Rock's Relationship Through the Years

Here's a timeline of Will Smith and Chris Rock's relationship, including everything they've said about the infamous 2022 Oscars slap

Will Smith and Chris Rock go way back.

The infamous Oscars slap that took place on March 27, 2022, may be the freshest interaction remembered of the actors, but the two have known each other for nearly three decades.

During the 2022 ceremony, Smith stormed the Oscars stage and slapped Rock across the face after the comedian made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her hair.

"Keep my wife's name out of your f---ing mouth!" Smith shouted after Rock quipped, "Jada I love you, 'G.I. Jane 2,' can't wait to see it." The altercation took place moments before the King Richard star took home the Oscar for Best Actor.

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

Rock previously referenced the Smiths during his 2016 hosting gig at the Oscars, saying, "Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties. I wasn't invited."

Rock and the Smiths have had a decades-long working relationship and appeared in several TV shows and movies together. In addition, both actors have been seen enjoying each other's company in social scenes over the years.

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From their The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air days to the present, keep scrolling for a history of Smith and Rock's relationship dating back to the 1990s.

Sept. 25, 1995: Will Smith and Chris Rock costar on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

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Jan Sonnenmair/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty

Rock played two roles alongside Smith on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Doubling up as a popular actor named Maurice Perry and his sister Jasmine, Rock's guest appearance was featured during episode 2, season 6, titled "Get a Job," which aired on Sept. 25, 1995.

1999: Will Smith and Chris Rock costar in Torrance Rises

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Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Smith and Rock both appeared in the Spike Jonze-directed mockumentary Torrance Rises in 1999, a short film centered around the Torrance Community Dance Group (from Fatboy Slim's "Praise You" video) and their journey to the MTV Video Music Awards. Both actors played themselves, alongside notable stars including Madonna, Sofia Coppola, and more.

Prior to the project, the two actors were photographed together at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards, where they were seen laughing in the audience.

April 2, 2005: Will Smith accepts a Kids' Choice Award from Chris Rock

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Kevin Winter/Getty

The 2005 Kids' Choice Awards saw a lighter interaction between the two as Rock presented Smith with the prized blimp after winning favorite voice from an animated movie for his work as Oscar in Shark Tale.

Five years later in 2010, Rock and Smith reunited at the show again when they posed for a photo, alongside the latter's son, Jaden Smith, backstage.

May 27, 2005: Chris Rock and Jada Pinkett Smith costar in Madagascar

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GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images

Not only have Smith and Rock had a working relationship through the years, but Jada and the Rock have starred alongside each other as well. Notably, the two held roles in the 2005 animated film Madagascar, in addition to its two sequels, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa in 2008 and Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted in 2012.

While promoting the third installment of the hit animated franchise (in which Rock voices Marty the zebra and Jada voices Gloria the hippopotamus), the comic told Jada during an interview with Fuse that his kids are big fans of her children.

"Hey, my kids listen to your kids!" Rock said to Jada. "'21st Century Girl'? Oh my god. And they love LMFAO, but they have no idea what it stands for."

February 28, 2016: Chris Rock mentions Jada Pinkett Smith in his Oscars monologue

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Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

During the comic's hosting stint at the 2016 Oscars, he called attention to Jada's decision to skip the ceremony.

"Jada said she's not coming, protest. I was like, 'Isn't she on a TV show?' Jada's going to boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties. I wasn't invited!" he said.

Rock also made a joke about her husband, who wasn't nominated that year, saying, "It's not fair that Will was this good and didn't get nominated. You're right. It's also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West, OK?" he added, referencing one of Smith's least successful movies.

March 27, 2022: Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at the Oscars

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Neilson Barnard/Getty

Ahead of introducing the Best Documentary nominees at the 2022 Oscars on March 27, Rock made a joke about Jada's shaved hairstyle — prompting Smith to leave his seat, storm the stage, and slap the comic on live television.

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"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."

Smith then yelled from his seat, "Keep my wife's name out your f—ing mouth!" to which Rock replied, "Wow, dude, it was a G.I. Jane joke."

Following the ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released an official statement about the incident, condemning Smith's actions and announcing that they were launching "a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law."

June 1, 2022: Jada Pinkett Smith addresses the Oscars slap on Red Table Talk

During a June 1 episode of Red Table Talk, Pinkett Smith briefly opened up about the infamous Oscars slap, stating, "About Oscar night. My deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have an opportunity to heal, talk this out and reconcile."

"With the state of the world today, we need 'em both, and we all actually need one another more than ever," the Girls Trip actress continued.

"Until then, Will and I are continuing to do what we have done for the last 28 years — and that's [to] keep figuring out this thing called life together. Thank you for listening," Jada concluded.

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Lee Celano/WireImage

July 29, 2022: Will Smith apologizes to Chris Rock after Oscars slap

Four months after Smith took the stage at the Oscars and smacked Rock across the face, he shared a video to YouTube, Instagram and Facebook on July 29, in which he apologized to Rock again and invites him to reach out at any time.

"I've reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he's not ready to talk, and when he is he will reach out," Smith said. "So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I'm here whenever you're ready to talk."

September 3, 2022: Chris Rock seems to call Will Smith's recorded apology a "hostage video"

During a comedy set with Dave Chappelle in London, Rock said "f--- your hostage video," in an apparent reference to the recorded apology Smith posted in July, according to Deadline.

Rock also called the actor "Suge Smith" and said "that s--- hurt," according to the outlet, referring to Smith's slap at the 94th Academy Awards.

The comedian reportedly said, "He played [Muhammad] Ali. I can't even play Floyd Mayweather."

November 28, 2022: Will Smith opens up about the night he slapped Chris Rock

Smith spoke about slapping Rock at the 2022 Oscars during an appearance on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. "There's many nuances and complexities to it, you know, but at the end of the day, I just — I lost it," Smith told Trevor Noah.

"You just don't know what's going on with people," the actor added. "And I was going through something that night."

He continued, "Not that that justifies my behavior at all."

December 25, 2022: Chris Rock's Netflix comedy special gets a release date

In December 2022, Rock's upcoming comedy special announced a release date. Chris Rock: Selective Outrage – which will be live-streamed on Netflix – will premiere on March 4, nearly a year after the Oscar incident where Smith slapped Rock.

According to various outlets, including The Wall Street Journal, Rock will address the Oscars slap during the special.

November 29, 2022: Will Smith says he worries Oscars slap will overshadow Emancipation film

In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Smith said that he loses "a couple winks of sleep every night" worrying that his Oscars controversy will overshadow the work of other creatives he collaborated with on Emancipation.

He added that the "only discomfort my heart has around" continued fallout from the incident "is that so many people have done spectacular work on" the film.

March 1, 2023: Will Smith makes first award show appearance since the 2022 Oscars

In his first in-person awards-show speech nearly a year after slapping Rock in the face at the 2022 Academy Awards, Smith acknowledged his fellow Emancipation cast and crew for their efforts in making the film, which won a special honor at the African-American Film Critics Association Awards. During his speech, he also subtly addressed the Oscars slap.

"Emancipation was the individual most difficult film of my entire career. It was all outdoors, that is true," Smith joked to the audience, per Variety, as he accepted the Beacon award along with the movie's director, Antoine Fuqua.

March 4, 2023: Chris Rock skewers Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith in his Netflix comedy special

One year after the infamous Oscar slap occured, Rock slammed Smith and Jada in Netflix's first-ever live-streamed event, a comedy special called Chris Rock: Selective Outrage. While the comedian said he grew up loving and "rooting for" Will, Rock took time in his routine to slam him and his marriage.

"Will Smith practices selective outrage," said Rock in his stand-up routine, adding of the Oscars slap, "Everybody that really knows knows I had nothing to do with that s---. I didn't have any 'entanglements.'"

Rock was referring to back in July 2020, when Jada opened up about having an "entanglement" with singer August Alsina years ago while she and Smith were on a break. Rock then said that "everybody in the world" called Will a "bitch" after the "entanglement" news, and he said he tried to reach out to him about it but claimed Will didn't pick up.

The comedian then went on to repeatedly call Will a "bitch." He then joked, "Everybody. And who's he hit? Me, a n---- he knows he can beat. That is some bitch-ass s---."

March 6, 2023: A source says Jada Pinkett Smith hasn't been involved in Chris Rock and Will Smith's drama

A source close to Pinkett Smith spoke to PEOPLE about the actress' role in the ongoing tension between Smith and Rock, or lack thereof.

"Jada has had no part in all of this other than being heckled," the insider reported. "Chris is obsessed with her and that's been going on for almost 30 years."

They added: "Look where he chose to film his Netflix special. Her hometown [of Baltimore]. Obsessed."

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