Chris Rock claims Jada Pinkett Smith started feud behind Oscars slap

Oscars: Hollywood stars react to Will Smith hitting Chris Rock

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The comedian, 58, made a dig at Will Smith, 54, and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith, 51, during a new Netflix special, titled Selective Outrage. In the set, Chris claims the troubled waters between him and the Smiths started in 2016 when the actress requested that he boycotted hosting that year’s award ceremony after her husband was left without a single nomination.

As the 2023 Academy Awards inch closer, former host Chris has reignited the scandal surrounding last year’s award ceremony.

In a moment that went viral almost instantaneously, the King Richard actor slapped Chris after the comedian made a joke about Jada’s hairstyle, shortly before winning his first-ever Best Actor Oscar.

Now, the comedian has broached the unforgettable moment during a new Netflix comedy special claiming that the turbulent history between him and the Smiths actually goes back to 2016.

Chris claimed that shortly before his second stint as Academy Awards host in 2016, Jada requested he gave up the position.

The 2016 Oscars was notoriously boycotted by a long line of A-listers due to its lacking diversity of nominees and Hollywood A-lister Will was left with no nominations after starring in the 2015 drama Concussion.

Chris now claims that Jada “said I should quit the Oscars” because Will hadn’t been nominated, quickly quipping: “And then he gives me a f***ing concussion.”

At the time, Chris ignored the Madagascar star’s request and called her out for boycotting the Academy Awards that year in his opening monologue.

The comedian addressed the #OscarSoWhite controversy at the 2016 Academy Awards, joking that it was “otherwise known as the White People’s Choice Awards”.

He also made a dig at Jada’s boycott questioning: “Isn’t she on a TV show? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties: I wasn’t invited.”

In his new Netflix special, Chris claimed this joke was a reaction to Jada’s request that he ditch hosting the awards, saying: “That’s how it is – she starts it, I finish it, OK? That’s what the f*** happened.

“Nobody’s picking on her. She started this s***.”

The comedian also claimed his perspective of Will has vastly changed after the slap, saying that while he used to idolise the actor, “now I watch Emancipation just to see him get whupped.”

During the 2022 ceremony, comedian Chris joked about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair, or lack thereof due to the medical condition alopecia.

An outraged Will furiously headed to the stage and slapped Chris in the face, shocking fans, viewers and attendees alike, before heading back to his seat and yelling: “Keep my wife’s name out of your f***** mouth.”

Later that night, Will walked up to the stage once again but under far different circumstances as he accepted the Oscar award for Best Actor, surpassing the likes of Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Garfield and Denzel Washington.

The emotional actor shed tears on stage as he gave his acceptance speech, adding: “I want to apologise to the Academy, to all my fellow nominees. Art imitates life, I look like the crazy father but love will make you do crazy things.

“Hoping the Academy invites me back.”

Will has since issued a formal apology, resigned from the Academy and will not be allowed to attend the 2023 ceremony as he has been banned from the Academy Awards until 2033.

Traditionally, the previous Best Actor winner is invited to present the award for Best Actress, but with Will’s ban it is uncertain who will be giving out the gilded statue on Sunday. has contacted Jada Pinkett Smith’s representatives for comment.

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