Bad blood between Chris Rock and Will Smith flowed long before the “King Richard” star took a swing at the 2022 Oscars.
In 2016, the stand-up comic hosted the Academy Awards, where both Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, were the butts of some pointed barbs.
Rock made fun of Pinkett Smith’s public avowal to boycott the show after another year of all-white acting nominees.
“Jada said she’s not coming. I was like, ‘Isn’t she on a TV show?’ Jada’s gonna boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited!” he quipped at the time.
Rock also poked fun at Smith, whose name had been bandied about as a possible Oscar nominee for his role in the film “Concussion.”
“Will was not nominated for ‘Concussion.’ I get it. You get mad. It’s not fair that Will was this good and didn’t get nominated. You’re right,” he said. “It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for ‘Wild Wild West.’”
Chris Rock teased Will Smith when he hosted the Oscars in 2016.Getty
When the “Girls Trip” star was asked about the jokes, she seemed to take them in stride.
“It comes with the territory, sweetheart,” she told X17 one week after the 2016 Oscars. “Hey, look, it comes with the territory, but we gotta keep it moving. We gotta keep it moving. We gotta keep it moving. There’s a lot of stuff we gotta handle, a lot of stuff in our world right now. We gotta keep it moving.”
And when Smith was asked about it while filming in New York, he simply responded with a smile and peace sign.
Rock and Smith appeared together on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.”NBCUniversal via Getty Images
But it seems that perhaps the couple did not move on from Rock’s ribald comments.
When the “Saturday Night Live” alum, 57, took to the stage at this year’s Oscars, he said, “Jada, I love you, ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it,” which caused 50-year-old Pinkett Smith — who suffers from alopecia and has shaved her head — to roll her eyes.
“G.I. Jane” is a 1997 movie starring a bald-headed Demi Moore as a soldier.
Initially, Smith, 53, laughed, but then he marched on stage and took a swing at a shocked Rock. The audio was censored, but lip readers parsed that a furious Smith shouted, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f–king mouth.”
Smith shocked the world when he took a swing at Rock for a joke about wife Jada Pinkett Smith.Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag
Rock tried to defend the joke, but the newly minted Oscar winner was not having it and kept screaming, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f–king mouth.”
“That was the greatest night in the history of television,” Rock sagely noted.