Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the Oscars left the audience and viewers at home in a state of shock.
But it’s not the first time that the movie star has been antagonized by the comedian.
In fact, a feud has been brewing between the pair over the past five years thanks to repeated jokes made at Will’s expense.
When hosting the Oscars back in 2016, Chris got himself into trouble with the actor when he used Will’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith as joke material in his opening monologue.
Will Smith and Chris Rock’s beef explained: Comedian first made joke about actor’s wife Jada in 2016 Oscars and jibed him over exes
In an opening bit about diversity, Chris, 57, poked fun at Jada, 50, for boycotting the Oscars when Will failed to receive a nomination for the movie Concussion.
‘Jada got mad, said she’s not coming. Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited,’ Chris said.
‘You get mad. It’s not fair that Will was this good and didn’t get nominated. It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West.’
‘This year at the Oscars, things are going to be a little different. In the ‘in memoriam’ package it’s just going to be black people who were shot by the cops on their way to the movies. Yes, I said it, all right?’
Stunned: Will Smith punching Chris Rock at the Oscars left the audience and viewers at home in a state of shock
Following the dig, TMZ had approached Will for comment but he remain silent and refused to answer.
But the jibes from Chris didn’t stop there.
Adding further fire to their beef, in 2018 Chris posted a controversial comment about the actor on social media that made light of his previous marriage.
Will had posted a photo wishing his ex-wife Sheree Zampino a very happy birthday, and Chris posted a remark that went viral.
First jab: In his opening monologue about diversity, Chris, 57, poked fun at Jada, 50, for boycotting the Oscars when Will failed to receive a nomination for Concussion (Pic; 2016)
‘Happy Bday, @shereezampino. #BestBabyMamaEver! 🙂 I Love You, Ree-Ree,’ Will wrote alongside a photo of Sheree and their son Trey.
Chris then commented: ‘Wow. You have a very understanding wife.’
Sheree then responded to Chris, replying: ‘Don’t hate.’
The exchange hit headlines at the time, considering Chris had targeted Jada and Will during the Oscars in 2016.
However, on Sunday night, it seemed Will had finally enough after Chris made a ‘G.I. Jane’ joke about Jada’s shaven head haircut.
Will, visibly emotional, walked back to his seat after slapping Chris and shouted: ‘Keep my wife’s name out of your f***ing mouth.’
After the incident, Will and Jada reportedly held hands throughout the ceremony.
The couple’s open relationship has seemingly been a trigger for Will, having sparked chaotic conversation at various star-studded events and caused the actor to insist ‘never been infidelity’ in their marriage.
History: Chris previously made fun of Jada when he hosted the Oscars in 2016
Most recently, the couple found themselves the butt of a joke earlier this month after Smith scooped Best Actor for his role in King Richard at the 75th Annual British Academy Film Awards.
BAFTAs host Rebel Wilson, 41, quipped on stage: ‘I thought his best performance over the past year was being OK with all his wife’s boyfriends!’
Speaking afterwards, Smith insisted that there has ‘never been infidelity’, despite Jada admitting in 2020 that she had an ‘entanglement’ with singer August Alsina, 29.
‘There’s never been infidelity in our marriage. Jada and I talk about everything, and we have never surprised one another with anything ever,’ Smith said.
The actor – who has son Jaden, 23, and daughter Willow, 21, with Jada – added that he doesn’t care if people speculate about his marriage and instead he encourages the ‘chatter’ in the hope it will spark meaningful debate.
‘I have decided that chatter about my life can be of a benefit to people,’ he told Gayle King on CBS Sunday Morning after the BAFTAs.
‘Chatter is the first stage to having a real conversation and to be able to truly explore if some of the things in your heart are loving or poisonous.’