Chris Rock Breaks Silence Following Will Smith Oscars Slap (Watch)
Chris Rock is speaking out for the first time since his altercation with Will Smith on the Oscars stage.
Will and Chris shared a heated exchange on the 2022 Oscars stage over a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair — and to the shock of viewers and audience members, it turned physical when Will slapped Chris. Jada suffers from alopecia, but Rock reportedly didn’t know that at the time.
Rock had a comedy show at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston on Wednesday night where he acknowledged the drama, saying he’s still “processing” what transpired. Watch!
Chris hit the stage in an all-white suit, telling the sold-out crowd, “Whoa, okay!” He even got a standing ovation and told his fans, “Yo, let me do the show!” Listen to the audio below!
The audience laughed as he asked, “How was your weekend?” Going on to say, “I don’t have a bunch of s--t about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend. I’m still kind of processing what happened. So, at some point I’ll talk about that s--. And it will be serious and funny.”
Someone yelled, “F—k Will Smith,” but Rock simply replied, “I’m going to tell some jokes. It’s nice to just be out.”
After the incident, Smith publicly apologized to Chris, saying in part, “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. 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.”
Chris’ brother, Tony Rock, indicated the apology wasn’t sufficient. When a Twitter user asked Tony, “Do you approve of the apology?” Tony replied, “No.”
Another user asked if Will "speaks directly to Chris and the rock family are you open?" and Tony answered, "Waiting."
Tony also confirmed that Sean "Diddy" Combs' earlier comments that Will and Chris settled their beef weren't true.
Meanwhile, Will is in hot water with the Academy.
Despite the altercation, Smith was able to remain at the show, where he would later take the stage to accept his Best Actor award for his role in “King Richard.”
During his acceptance speech, he apologized to the Academy, saying, “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. Tim and Trevor and Zack and Saniyya and Demi and Aunjanue and the entire cast and crew of ‘King Richard,’ Venus and Serena, the entire Williams family. Art imitates life. I look like the crazy father, just like they said about Richard Williams.”
It has now been revealed that the Academy did attempt to remove Smith from the show beforehand.
In a new statement, the Academy said, “Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated. While we would like to clarify that Mr. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, we also recognize we could have handled the situation differently.”
The Academy noted that “disciplinary proceedings” have been initiated.
According to the Academy, Smith violated “the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, including inappropriate physical contact, abusive or threatening behavior, and compromising the integrity of the Academy.”
Smith has been “provided at least 15 days" notice of a vote regarding his violations and sanctions, and the opportunity to be heard beforehand.”
If the Academy decided to take any disciplinary action, it could include “suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted.”
The Academy stressed that the incident was a “deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in person and on television.”
Apologizing to Chris, the nominees, and the audience, the Academy said, “Mr. Rock, we apologize to you for what you experienced on our stage and thank you for your resilience in that moment. We also apologize to our nominees, guests and viewers for what transpired during what should have been a celebratory event.”
On Wednesday’s episode of “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” host Wanda Sykes pointed out, “We were the hosts… No one has apologized to us and we worked really hard to put that show together.”
Wanda did mention that Rock apologized to her at an Oscars after-party. She said, “And as soon as I walked up to him, the first thing he said was, ‘I am so sorry,’ and I’m like, ‘Why are you apologizing?’”
Chris acknowledged that “it was supposed to be” her night, saying, “Y’all were doing such a great job. I’m so sorry this is now gonna be about this.”
Wanda admitted she was “traumatized” by the smackdown, saying, “For them to let him stay in that room, and enjoy the rest of the show and accept his award, I was like, ‘How gross is this?’ This is just the wrong message. You assault somebody, you get escorted out the building, and that’s it.”
She added, “I wanted to run out after he won and say, ‘Unfortunately, Will couldn’t be here tonight.’”