Just recently, the whole world got off its feet when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock during the Oscars after the comedian made a joke about the former's wife. While an apology has been released by the King Richard actor, many speculate that this beef wasn't cooked in a span of one night. As a matter of fact, the seed for this feud was originally planted years before Smith even laid the smackdown on Rock.

We take a deep dive into what happened before and how those past events could have played a role in the infamous slap heard all over the world.

Chris Rock's stint as the 2016 Oscars host

This isn't Rock's first time stepping on the Oscars stage. As a matter of fact, the comedian became the show's host way back in 2016 and opened the ceremony with his signature style of comedy. The thing is, Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, were part of the host's opening monologue.

During that time, Rock poked fun at Pinkett-Smith for boycotting the said awards show due to its lack of diversity when Smith failed to garner a nomination for his role in Concussion.

‘Jada got mad, said she's not coming. Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties. I wasn't invited,' Rock jokingly said.

And if that wasn't enough, Rock went on and joked about Wild Wild West, one of the worst flops of Smith's movie career.

‘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,' Rock added.

Following Rock's opening monologue, Smith refused to add fuel to the fire by commenting on the parts involving him and his wife. And while the actor publicly kept his peace back then, it was only just a start.

A rib at Will Smith's previous marriage in 2018

Smith's first marriage with Sheree Zampino ended in the early 90s and resulted in the birth of Smith's son with her, Trey. And while they haven't been together for the longest time, there is no animosity or tension between the two. Proof of this amicable relationship was when Smith posted an image of Zampino and Trey with a birthday greeting on it.

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Chris Rock, for his part, reportedly made a comment saying ‘Wow. You have a very understanding wife.' Zampino, for her part, responded by saying ‘Don't hate.' And just like Rock's earlier joke during the 2016 Oscars, Smith chose to stay silent and not react to the comedian's comment. Of course, that won't be the case four years later when things would blow up between the two.

Smith's slap on Rock during the 2022 Oscars

These two incidents could have played a part in intensifying the beef between Smith and Rock. During the 94th Academy Awards, the comedian was tasked to present the nominees and sole winner of the Best Documentary award. Before he went on, Rock called out Pinkett-Smith and jokingly said that he's looking forward to G.I. Jane 2. The said movie starred Demi Moore who played a soldier with her hair shaved off.

The camera then shifted its focus to the Smiths, with Will laughing and Jada rolling her eyes up in annoyance. Without any warning, the King Richard actor suddenly went up, approached Rock, and slapped him.

As the actor was walking down, the comedian said it was only a joke. This prompted Smith to yell at Rock by asking him to keep his wife's name out of his mouth.

After a tension-filled moment, Rock went on with his job by presenting the nominees of the said award. During a commercial break, Smith was calmed down by Denzel Washington and other actors. Later that night, Smith won the Best Actor award for his role in King Richard. In his speech, he thanked the cast and asked the Academy's forgiveness for his actions. Smith also said that ‘love will make you do crazy things,' in reference to his earlier.

At this point in time, Smith has posted an apology on his official Instagram page for what happened during the Oscars. Rock, for his part, hasn't responded to the actor's apology yet. It remains to be seen whether the comedian will release a response over the following days in relation to Smith's IG post.

It can't be denied that this incident isn't just an overnight thing. As stated above, what transpired between Smith and Rock recently has its roots planted way back in 2016. With an apology released, it's everyone's hope that this beef between the two will die a natural death sooner than later.