Oscars 2022: Ricky Gervais responds to Will Smith punch with The Office joke


Ricky Gervais subtly had his say on punch-gate (Picture: Getty)

Ricky Gervais has mischievously reacted to Will Smith hitting Chris Rock at the Oscars on Sunday night by sharing a gag about alopecia from The Office.

The Academy Awards were thrown into chaos after Smith stormed the stage and slapped Rock in the face after the comedian made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair.

Smith, who won his first Oscar for King Richard, appeared to take offence to a joke Rock made about Pinkett Smith’s short haircut. Pinkett Smith has previously spoken about her struggles with alopecia, which prompted her to shave her head.

Referring to her buzzcut, Rock said: ‘Jada, can’t wait for GI Jane 2’.

After Pinkett Smith rolled her eyes in reaction, Smith walked up on stage and appeared to hit Rock before returning to his seat and shouting twice: ‘Keep my wife’s name out of your f****** mouth.’

Giving his verdict on the situation, Gervais retweeted a video from the second series of The Office, in which his character David Brent makes a quip about the medical condition alopecia.


Ricky Gervais as David Brent in The Office

David Brent joked about alopecia in The Office series two episode two (Picture: BBC)

‘Welcome to Alcoholics Anonymous!’ Brent says after buying three pints in the pub.

‘No – purely social. I know someone who is an alchoholic and it is no laughing matter – particularly for his wife. And she’s got alopecia. So… not a happy homelife.’

While Gervais himself didn’t add any caption alongside his post, his followers have found it to be amusing nonetheless.


Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith

Jade Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia (Picture: Wire Image)

‘I’ve been checking @rickygervais’s Twitter, waiting for his take on last night’s drama. And find this,’ wrote one. ‘Sums up his position nicely.’

Echoing a similar sentiment, another penned: ‘I’ve been waiting all day for your reply and as always, nailed it.’

Others, however, condemned joking about alopecia. ‘It’s one thing to make fun of the disease (or a fictional character) but another to pick on one specific real-life person who has the disease,’ one stated.

‘Especially if she’s sitting in the audience. Does no one else see the issue or am I just too sensitive?’

‘To make a hair joke when Jada is suffering from alopecia is really kind of gross,’ another said. ‘Especially to make a joke like that in a room full of her peers. You don’t know how that may trigger her.’

While Gervais has never hosted the Oscars, he has hosted the Golden Globes five times and last presented the prestigious awards in 2020.

At the time, his opening monologue contained jokes about paedophilia, Prince Andrew and James Corden, as well as a lewd gag about Dame Judi Dench.

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