The New York Post and The Daily Beast, among others, reported that Rock’s barbs back in 2016 created “bad blood” and a “bitter history” that lingered with the movie star, who smacked Rock onstage at this year’s ceremony after a joke about Pinkett Smith. An unnamed source told People that Smith was “still mad” about the previous bit.
Rock was hosting the 2016 ceremony when he took aim at Pinkett Smith, who wasn’t there, for declaring she would boycott the awards show because the actor nominees all were white.
“Jada said she’s not coming. I was like, ‘Isn’t she on a TV show?’ Jada’s gonna boycott the Oscars?” began Rock, then the emcee. “Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited!”