Jada Pinkett Smith Makes First Public Appearance Since Husband Will Smith's Oscars Controversy

Jada Pinkett Smith made her first public appearance in two weeks on Saturday to attend the opening of a new performing arts center named after Shonda Rhimes in Los Angeles. It was the first time Pinkett Smith was seen since her husband, Will Smith, slapped comedian Chris Rock for joking about her during the Oscars. On Friday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences banned Smith from attending the Academy Awards for the next 10 years.

Pinkett Smith joined Rhimes and Debbie Allen for the grand opening of the Rhimes Performing Arts Center, which is also the home of the new Debbie Allen Dance Academy. There is also a studio named for Smith and Pinkett Smith. Pinkett Smith posed for photos with the Grey's Anatomy creator and the Fame star on the red carpet. Pinkett Smith, whom Allen directed in A Perfect World, was all smiles when she posed with Samuel L. Jackson and his wife LaTanya Richardson Jackson, notes PEOPLE. Smith was not at the event.

On March 27, Smith slapped Rock after the comedian joked about Pinkett Smith looking like she could star in G.I. Jane 2 because of her shaved head. When he sat back down, Smith yelled at Rock twice to "keep my wife's name out of your f—ing mouth!" Pinkett Smith has been open about being diagnosed with alopecia, which causes hair loss. However, Rock's brother Kenny recently told The Los Angeles Times Rock would not have made the joke if he knew about Pinkett Smith's condition.

Five days after the show, Smith resigned from the Academy, meaning he could no longer vote for the Oscars. The Academy banned him from attending the show for 10 years on Friday. Smith won the Best Actor Oscar for King Richard moments after the slap, but he is not expected to have to give it up. Smith's ban includes the Oscars and all other official Academy events.

"We want to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances. We also want to thank our hosts, nominees, presenters, and winners for their poise and grace during our telecast," the Academy said Friday. "This action we are taking today in response to Will Smith's behavior is a step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests and restoring trust in the Academy. We also hope this can begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted."


Smith later issued a very brief statement on Friday, accepting the Academy's decision. He previously apologized to Smith in an Instagram statement on March 28. "I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line, and I was wrong," he wrote. "I am embarrassed, and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness."