Chris made an appearance on stage to present the award for Best Documentary Feature, during which he joked that Javier Bardem was “praying” that Will Smith would win Best Actor.
After mentioning Will’s name, Chris then turned his attention to Jada, who was sitting next to the Fresh Prince star in the audience.
“Jada, I’m looking forward to seeing GI Jane 2,” he said, seemingly referencing the Red Table Talk host’s buzzcut hairstyle.
Jada has previously spoken about her experiences with hair loss and said in the past this is what prompted her to shave her head.
The joke prompted an eye-roll from Jada, and after Chris continued presenting, Will then arrived on stage, where he appeared to hit the comic.
“Wow,” Chris commented. “Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me.”
From the audience, Will was heard shouting: “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”
“Wow dude,” a stunned Chris responded. “It was a GI Jane joke.”
Will then repeated: “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”
As an uncomfortable silence fell on the audience, Chris insisted: “I’m going to, OK? That was… the greatest night in the history of television.”
Chris then resumed presenting Best Documentary to Sumer Of Soul (Or When The Revolution Could Not Be Televised).
Earlier in the night, Will and Jada had been the subject of another joke by Oscars host Regina Hall.
As part of a skit, Regina read out a list of male celebrities who she joked needed to come backstage with her for a “Covid test”.
“Javier Bardem… oh you’re still with Penelope [Cruz],” she said. “Your test is fine… it says that you’re married… I mean negative.
“Will Smith, you’re married, but you’re on the list and it says Jada approved you, so get up here.”
While other stars on Regina’s list joined her on stage, Will opted to remain in his seat at the time.
Later in the evening, Will won his first Oscar for playing Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena Williams, in the biopic King Richard.
Delivering his tearful acceptance speech, Will said on stage: “Richard Williams was a fierce defender of his family. In this time in my life, in this moment, I am overwhelmed by what God is calling on me to do and be in this world.
“Making this film, I got to protect Aunjanue Ellis who is one of the strongest, most delicate people I’ve ever met. I got to protect Saniyya and Demi, the two actresses that played Venus and Serena.
“I’m being called on in my life to love people. And to protect people. And to be a river to my people.”
He continued: “Now I know to do what we do, you’ve got to be able to take abuse and be able to have people talk crazy about you. In this business, you’ve got to be able to have people disrespect you, and smile and pretend it’s OK.
“Denzel [Washington] said to me a few minutes ago, ‘at your highest moment, be careful because that’s when the devil will come for you’.”
“I want to be a vessel for love,” Will added. “I want to say thank you to Venus and Serena… and the entire Williams family for entrusting me with your story. That’s what I want to do, I want to be an ambassador of that kind of love and care and concern.
“I want to apologise to the Academy, and 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 light on all of the people… art imitates life, I look like the crazy father, just like what they said about Richard Williams. But love will make you do crazy things.”
“Thank you for this honour,” he concluded. “Thank you for this moment, I thank you on behalf of the entire Williams family. I hope the Academy invites me back. Thank you.”
Check out all the must-see photos from this year’s Oscars in the gallery below…