TESTAMENT's Alex Skolnick has condemned Will Smith for smacking Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards.
The guitarist reacted a short time after Smith, 53, interrupted the 57-year-old comedian's introduction of "Best Documentary" with a slap across the face. The altercation came after Rock made a joke about Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith, saying, "Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see ya," an apparent reference to the actress's bald hairstyle as she lives with the autoimmune disorder alopecia, which attacks follicles resulting in bald spots and hair loss.
Pinkett Smith could be seen rolling her eyes, before the camera cut back to Rock, while Will Smith initially laughed from his seat. Shortly after, however, Smith's mood changed as he walked up to Rock and struck him across the face with an open hand.
"Oh wow," Rock said as Smith made his way back to his seat.
"Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me," the host said.
"Keep my wife's name out your fucking mouth!" Smith yelled up to the stage at Rock after taking his seat again.
"Wow, dude, it was a G.I. Jane joke," said Rock — to which Smith replied once again, "Keep my wife's name out your fucking mouth!"
Later in the night, Smith won the "Best Actor" award for his starring role in "King Richard". He addressed incident in his acceptance speech by apologizing to the Academy and his fellow actors for the altercation but failing to mention Rock by name.
"I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees," Smith said in part.
He added: "Art imitates life: I look like the crazy father. Just like they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things."
Last night, Skolnick shared a clip of the incident on Twitter and wrote: "I missed #Oscars2022 & a whole lot apparently. Quick thought: Wasn't he the 'nice' rapper? Meanwhile 'scary' rappers have great senses of humor, ie IceT & Snoop (his IG is LOL FUNNY). C'mon #WillSmith. You don't have to like #ChrisRock 's joke but an ugly meltdown? Violence? Wtf?"
Earlier today, Skolnick returned to his Twitter and added the following comment: "#WillSmith's overreaction at the #Oscars stole the spotlight from @questlove, #SummerOfSoul & even #KingRichard (for which he won!) There are better ways to express displeasure. Just when it finally gets past #OscarsSoWhite, he turns it into #OscarsYoFight #willsmithchrisrock".
KISS frontman Paul Stanley also weighed in, tweeting: "Wait... Chris Rock makes a bad joke about Jada Pinkett's appearance. Will Smith walks onstage hits him in the face shouts out obscenities & later in tears accepts an Oscar saying 'Love makes you do crazy things' to a STANDING OVATION?!? WTF Hollywood. That's not WOKE. That's WEAK".
LAMB OF GOD's Mark Morton tweeted: "You know what would be RAD? Will: I'm sorry Chris. I shouldn't have done that. What you said really hurt her feelings & that made me furious. I lost my cool. Chris: I understand. I forgive you. I really didn't mean to hurt y'all like that. I wouldn't have said it if I'd known."
Shortly after the incident, The Academy issued a brief statement regarding the matter. "The Academy does not condone violence of any form," the organization tweeted. "Tonight we are delighted to celebrate our 94th Academy Awards winners, who deserve this moment of recognition from their peers and movie lovers around the world."
Rock declined to file a police report in connection with the assault, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.
"LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program," the LAPD said in a statement, obtained by Variety. "The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report.
"If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report," the statement continued.