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Why Chris Rock's Oscars 'GI Jane' Joke Hit Such A Nerve

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Why Chris Rock's Oscars 'GI Jane' Joke Hit Such A Nerve

The Oscars took a strange turn last night as actor Will Smith took to the stage to 'slap' comedian Chris Rock after he made a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith.

This moment came just seconds after Rock, who is known for his dark humour, said "Jada, can't wait for GI Jane 2," in an apparent reference to her shaved head.

In reaction to the joke, Pinkett-Smith appeared to grimace and roll her eyes. The actress and singer has been open about other struggles with the autoimmune disease alopecia.

Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith arriving at the Oscars red carpet (Credit: Alamy)
Will Smith and Jada Pinkett-Smith arriving at the Oscars red carpet (Credit: Alamy)
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Pinkett-Smith revealed she was suffering from hair loss in 2018, during one of her Red Table Talks series.

Here, the actress and singer said: "A lot of people have been asking why I've been wearing turbans. Well, I haven't talked about it. It's not easy to talk about, but I am going to talk about it.

"I was in the shower one day and had just handfuls of hair in my hands and I was just like, 'Oh my God, am I going bald?'"

She continued with: "It was one of those times in my life where I was literally shaking in fear. That's why I cut my hair, and why I continue to cut it."

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Jada Pinkett-Smith with daughter Willow (Credit: Instagram/@willowsmith)
Jada Pinkett-Smith with daughter Willow (Credit: Instagram/@willowsmith)

Pinkett-Smith debuted her shaved head in an Instagram pic in July 2021, which her daughter. Willow, posted. Pinkett-Smith later shared the image to her account, crediting Willow with inspiring her to shave her head.

The image was captioned: "Willow made me do it because it was time to let go, BUT ... my 50's are bout to be Divinely lit with this shed❣️:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:."

At the 2022 Critics Choice Awards, Pinkett-Smith wowed audiences with her new look by wearing a $46,250 (£35,165.96) diamond headpiece.

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Pinkett-Smith at the Critics Choice Awards (Credit: Alamy)
Pinkett-Smith at the Critics Choice Awards (Credit: Alamy)

This isn't the first time that Chris Rock has taken shots at either of the Smiths.

When he hosted the 2016 Academy Awards, Rock mocked Pinket- Smith's decision to protest and not attend the ceremony for failing to nominate stars of colour within the main categories, saying:

"Jada's gonna boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties. I wasn't invited!"

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He then continued saying: "Her man 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. It's also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West!"

In a reaction quite different to this year's, Pinkett-Smith simply said: "It comes with the territory."

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Featured Image Credit: ABC/Alamy

Topics: Celebrity, Will Smith

Isobel Pankhurst
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