Before winning the Best Actor award for his role in King Richard, Smith took to the stage to slap Chris Rock over a joke the latter made about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. In 2018, Pinkett Smith revealed she has alopecia.
Host Jerrod Carmichael dissected the incident in his cold open on Saturday Night Live without directly mentioning Smith, Rock or the word “slap”.
“I’m not going to talk about it,” Carmichael said. “I want to be clear up top. I talked about it enough. Kept talking about it. Kept thinking about it. I don’t want to talk about it. And you can’t make me talk about it.”
The comedian added that while he initially decided not to talk about it, SNL boss Lorne Michaels asked him to discuss the subject as “the nation needs to heal”. He then addressed former president Barack Obama, asking for his help to complete this task.
“Hey B, what’s going on man? You don’t know me; I’m Jerrod. Nice to meet you,” he said. “You got us all hopped up on hope and change, and unfortunately, I have some news for you, Barack. You’re not going to like this. We need you back because I think you’re going to have to talk about it. The nation needs to heal.”
Elsewhere in the show, the usual ‘Fox & Friends’ parody included a call to Donald Trump (played by comedian and actor James Austin Johnson), where he was asked his thoughts on the Oscars incident. “I did see slap. I enjoyed slap,” he said. “I was very impressed by Hitch. Quite an arm on Hitch. I always knew Hitch had an arm.”
Colin Jost and Michael Che also roasted Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith during ‘Weekend Update’. “Intelligence officials are saying that Vladimir Putin is being misinformed by his advisers about how badly the Russian military is performing in Ukraine,” Jost said. “Which is kind of like Will Smith’s agent telling him, ‘You crushed it at the Oscars.’”
Jost added that the slap “was a disgraceful act that sets a terrible precedent for having to defend your wife at awards shows.”
The pair also welcomed O.J. Simpson (played by Kenan Thompson), who weighed in on the incident earlier in the week. “Oh now, Michael, you know me, I hate conflict,” he said. “Can I make a big confession that’s a long time coming? … I didn’t watch the Oscars.”
In a separate sketch, Chris Redd starred as Smith in the audience at the Oscars, chatting to a seat filler, played by Jerrod Carmichael. As Carmichael goes to take a selfie with the actor, Smith casually jumps up to go and slap Rock, returning as if nothing happened and asking “So where are you from, man?”
As a result of the altercation, Smith formally resigned from The Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences. In a statement shared by Smith’s publicist, the actor said he “will fully accept any and all consequences for [his] conduct”.