It was the hand-to-face contact heard ‘round the world. When Will Smith leapt onstage at the 94th Academy Awards earlier this year to slap host Chris Rock. After the altercation—which sparked after Rock made an off-color joke at Jada Pinkett Smith’s expense—it seemed like the internet, nation, and potentially the universe at large were left divided. But in Pinkett Smith’s opinion, what Smith and Rock really need is reunification.
On today’s episode of Pinkett Smith’s Facebook Live series Red Table Talk, the actress addressed the slap as part of an episode discussing alopecia—an autoimmune disorder causing hair loss, one that Pinkett Smith herself has.
The joke that ultimately left Rock with a sore jaw in the morning related to Pinkett Smith’s hair, or lack thereof. The punchline referred to Pinkett Smith as “G.I. Jane.”
“Considering what I’ve been through with my own health and what happened at the Oscars, thousands have reached out to me with their stories,” Pinkett Smith said during the episode.
Although her celebrity peers were quick to take sides (ranging from Judd Apatow’s apparent belief Smith could have “killed” Rock to son Jaden Smith’s belief that “That’s How We Do It”), Pinkett Smith said her greatest wish is for Rock and Smith to have an opportunity to work things through.
“Now about Oscar night, my deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have an opportunity to heal, talk this out and reconcile,” Pinkett Smith added. “The state of the world today, we need them both. And we all actually need one another more than ever.”
Smith made a first step to reconciling just a day after the slap, posting a heartfelt apology to Rock on Instagram and resigning from his role as a member of the Academy. The Academy, in their own response, banned Smith from all their events (including, of course, the Oscars) for the next 10 years. Though Rock has yet to directly address the incident, he’s made slight allusions to the moment in jokes on his recent tour.
Whatever happens next between her husband and Rock, well, Pinkett Smith doesn’t plan on shifting her current focus. “Will and I are continuing to do what we have done for the last 28 years, and that’s keep figuring out this thing called life together,” Pinkett Smith shared.