In a moment that will forever define the 2022 Academy Awards, Will Smith walked onstage after Chris Rock improvised a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith and smacked him in the face. While the joke — which poked fun at Jada’s shaved head, after the actress has been vocal about her alopecia diagnosis since 2018 — was in bad taste, fans and attendees at the show alike were absolutely stunned at the hit, which at first seemed improvised, but turned out to be a real-life emotional outburst from Smith.

Further complicating the evening was that Smith won the Oscar for best actor less than an hour later for his work on “King Richard,” and spent much of his speech tearfully justifying his actions to his peers and saying sorry.

“I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment and I’m not crying for winning an award. It’s not about winning an award for me. It’s about being able to shine a light on all of the people,” he said. Smith ended his speech by saying, “I hope the Academy invites me back.”

Needless to say, the outburst drew a flood of reaction on Twitter, from jokes and memes to more somber reminders from the Hollywood community that people shouldn’t assault comedians just because their material doesn’t work. Check out the most notable reactions below, including exclusive celebrity interviews Variety conducted at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party, and viral posts from a shocking evening.

“I am really sorry for the way Will managed to ruin the most important evening of his life,” tweeted Italian director Gabriele Muccino, who directed Will Smith in two Hollywood films, “The Pursuit of Happyness” and “Seven Pounds.” “Nobody knows the past [backstory] of having such an exposed nerve that made him lose control like that. He always knows how to find a way out of any situation. That fact that he yesterday he tripped pains me.”

During a panel about “Under the Banner of Heaven” at FX’s recent press day, executive producers Brian Grazer and Ron Howard weighed in on the slap.

“I found it very upsetting. These are people I’m very friendly with, and I was shocked. I wouldn’t have expected this kind of behavior,” Howard said. “I’m not on the Academy board, I can’t speak for their process, but I do know them and they will be very, very thoughtful. I will be curious to see what sort of decisions they make.”

“I produced the Oscars one year, and I think it’s really a celebration to the artists,” Grazer added. “To the nominees, and ultimately to the people that win, but really to the nominees. It’s a celebration for them and it should be really just focused on that, so it’s unfortunate that [the slap] detracted from that.”