Chris Rock has broken his silence on that Oscars moment in his first stand-up set since the awards ceremony. The comedian performed a stand-up set at the Wilbur Theater in Boston on Wednesday night and finally addressed Will Smith slapping him on stage at the 94th Academy Awards.
“I don’t have a bunch of shit about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend,” Rock said at the start of the show (via Variety (opens in new tab)). “I’m still kind of processing what happened. So, at some point I’ll talk about that shit. And it will be serious and funny.”
Rock, who was presenting at the Oscars, made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair, comparing her look to G.I. Jane. She has alopecia, a hair loss condition, and Will Smith responded by stepping on stage and hitting Rock, then yelling, “Keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth.”
People (opens in new tab) added that Rock also told the audience in Boston: “I haven’t talked to anyone, despite what you heard.” The comment seemed to be a rebuke of fellow Oscar presenter P. Diddy, who said after the ceremony that Rock and Smith had put aside their differences.
Will Smith has since apologized for the incident. “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris,” reads a statement posted to Smith’s social media account. “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.”
In the post, Smith calls violence, in all of its forms, “poisonous and destructive”, and describes his behavior at the Oscars are “unacceptable and inexcusable”.
Meanwhile, the Academy has claimed that it asked Smith to leave during the ceremony, yet the actor apparently refused.