LOS ANGELES, CA–Following record-low ratings at the 2021 Oscars, the Academy Awards were all the buzz on Sunday night thanks to an incident. While introducing nominees for the Best Documentary award, presenter Chris Rock cracked a joke about actress Jada Pinkett Smith. Regarding Jada’s bald appearance, the comedian joked that she was in an upcoming G.I. Jane film. The quip was positively received by the room, receiving widespread laughter. Among the chucklers was Jada’s husband, Will Smith, who was apparently pissed.
As the crowd’s jubilant reaction to the joke died down, Will approached Rock on stage and unexpectedly smacked the presenter across the face. What followed was a profanity-laced scolding from the eventual Best Actor winner, who insisted that Rock “keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth.” Rock managed to diffuse the situation, but the damage was already done. The comedian died several minutes later while reaching for a yellow Starburst he dropped backstage. Medical staff on the scene determined that Rock’s death was “lame as hell.”
Following the tragic turn of events, Oscars President David Rubin took to Twitter to offer some thoughts. “CHRIS ROCK IS DEAD. HOLYYY!” he started, kicking off a stream of consciousness flurry of reaction tweets, half of which he later deleted for insensitive remarks. Rubin concluded the hour-long tweet-storm with a clarification to the awards ceremony. “Given his sudden passing, Chris Rock is being retroactively added to the ‘In Memoriam’ slideshow for his contributions to film and television. Everybody did not hate Chris, but Will Smith did.” Rubin also changed his Twitter bio to a Dave Chapelle quote misattributed to Chris Rock.
The comedy legend, 57, leaves behind an ex-wife and two kids. Chris is survived by Grown Ups 2 and Osmosis Jones.