A History of Will Smith and Chris Rock's Relationship Through the Years
From their Fresh Prince of Bel-Air days to the 2022 Oscars incident, here's a timeline of Will Smith and Chris Rock's relationship dating back to the 1990s.
Will Smith and Chris Rock go way back.
The unscripted incident that took place at the 94th Academy Awards may be the freshest interaction remembered of the actors, but the two have known each other for nearly three decades.
During the recent award ceremony, Smith stormed the 2022 Oscar stage and slapped Rock across the face after the comedian made about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her hair.
"Keep my wife's name out of your f---ing mouth!" Smith shouted after Rock quipped, "Jada I love you, 'G.I. Jane 2,' can't wait to see it." The altercation took place moments before the King Richard star took home the Oscar for Best Actor.
Rock previously referenced the Smiths during his 2016 hosting gig at the Oscars, saying, "Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties. I wasn't invited."
Rock and the Smiths have had a decades-long working relationship and appeared in several TV shows and movies together. In addition, both actors have been seen enjoying each other's company in social scenes over the years.
From their The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air days to present, keep scrolling for a history of Smith and Rock's relationship dating back to the 1990s.
1995: Will Smith and Chris Rock costar on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air
Rock played two roles alongside Smith on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. Doubling up as a popular actor named Maurice Perry and his sister Jasmine, Rock's guest appearance was featured during episode 2, season 6, titled "Get a Job," which aired on Sept. 25, 1995.
1999: Will Smith and Chris Rock costar in Torrance Rises
Smith and Rock both appeared in the Spike Jonze-directed mockumentary Torrance Rises in 1999, a short film centered around the Torrance Community Dance Group (from Fatboy Slim's "Praise You" video) and their journey to the MTV Video Music Awards. Both actors played themselves, alongside notable stars including Madonna, Sofia Coppola, and more.
Prior to the project, the two actors were photographed together at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards, where they were seen laughing in the audience.
April 2005: Will Smith accepts a Kids' Choice Award from Chris Rock
The 2005 Kids' Choice Awards saw a lighter interaction between the two as Rock presented Smith with the prized blimp after winning favorite voice from an animated movie for his work as Oscar in Shark Tale.
Five years later in 2010, Rock and Smith reunited at the show again when they posed for a photo, alongside the latter's son, Jaden Smith, backstage.
May 2005: Chris Rock and Jada Pinkett Smith costar in Madagascar
Not only have Smith and Rock had a working relationship through the years, but Jada and the Rock have starred alongside each other as well. Notably, the two held roles in the 2005 animated film Madagascar, in addition to its two sequels, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa in 2008 and Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted in 2012.
While promoting the third installment of the hit animated franchise (in which Rock voices Marty the zebra and Jada voices Gloria the hippopotamus), the comic told Jada during an interview with Fuse that his kids are big fans of her children.
"Hey, my kids listen to your kids!" Rock said to Jada. "'21st Century Girl'? Oh my god. And they love LMFAO, but they have no idea what it stands for."
February 2016: Chris Rock mentions Jada Pinkett Smith in his Oscars
During the comic's hosting stint at the 2016 Oscars, he called attention to Jada's decision to skip the ceremony.
"Jada said she's not coming, protest. I was like, 'Isn't she on a TV show?' Jada's going to boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties. I wasn't invited!" he said.
Rock also made a joke about her husband, who wasn't nominated that year, saying, "It's not fair that Will was this good and didn't get nominated. You're right. It's also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West, OK?" he added, referencing one of Smith's least successful movies.
March 2022: Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at the Oscars
Ahead of introducing the Best Documentary nominees at the 2022 Oscars on March 27, Rock made a joke about Jada's shaved hairstyle — prompting Smith to leave his seat, storm the stage, and slap the comic on live television.
"Oh wow," said a seemingly taken aback Rock as Will made his way back to his seat. "Will Smith just smacked the s— out of me."
Smith then yelled from his seat, "Keep my wife's name out your f—ing mouth!" to which Rock replied, "Wow, dude, it was a G.I. Jane joke."
Following the ceremony, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released an official statement about the incident, condemning Smith's actions and announcing that they were launching "a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law."