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A Stunned Serena Williams Was Left Speechless After Will Smith Slapped Chris Rock At The Oscars

A Stunned Serena Williams Was Left Speechless After Will Smith Slapped Chris Rock At The Oscars
@serenawilliams/Instagram; ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Whether you watched last night's Oscars or not, you've likely heard about the shocking moment when actor Will Smith slapped comedian Chris Rock onstage while Rock was presenting the Best Documentary award.

Given Smith's nomination for Best Actor for his performance in King Richard, a film about Venus and Serena Williams' father Richard Williams, the entire Williams clan was in attendance.

From her seat in the audience at the Dolby Theatre, Serena Williams posted a series of videos to her Instagram Story sharing her speechless reaction to what was, for better or worse, the most memorable moment of the night by far.

See her stunned reaction below.

At first, Williams showed herself agape in stunned silence at what had just occurred on the stage. In a subsequent clip, Williams said:

“I just sat down, because I was like, I gotta put that drink down, because um..."

Williams then glanced around in a look of shocked confusion.

It was a reaction shared by many, both in the seats at the Dolby Theatre and in the audience of tens of millions of people worldwide who watched the show live on television.

The incident occurred when Chris Rock made a joke about the look that Smith's wife, actress Jada Pinkett-Smith, wore to the ceremony, which included a closely cropped, shaved hairstyle. Rock quipped that Pinkett-Smith was set to star in "G.I. Jane 2," a reference to the 1997 film G.I. Jane in which actress Demi Moore infamously shaved her head.

Because Pinkett-Smith suffers from a medical condition that causes hair loss, she and husband Smith took offense. Smith went onstage from his front-row seat, slapped Chris Rock, and then yelled at him several times to "keep [his] wife's name out your fu*king mouth." (Warning: This video contains offensive language.)


Williams was certainly not alone in being left stunned by the shocking turn of events. Twitter erupted with astonished double takes in response, and the incident has proven to be very divisive.









Minutes after the incident, Smith won the Best Actor Oscar for his role as Williams' father. In his speech, he apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees, and said he was "overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world.”