Comedian Chris Rock has put on quite a few comedy performances since the infamous slap at the 2022 Academy Awards on March 27. Until now, however, the 57-year-old actor hasn’t addressed the altercation between himself and Best Actor winner Will Smith other than to say he was “still processing” what happened and would work it into future material.
At a California performance over the weekend, Rock made his first slap-related joke, The Independent reported. He told the crowd in Fantasy Springs, “I’m OK, I have a whole show and I’m not talking about [the Will Smith incident] until I get paid.”
“Life is good,” the comedian continued. “I got my hearing back.”
Though Rock hasn’t been discussing #slapgate, the rest of the world can’t stop talking about it even weeks later. Fans were shocked to discover the most recent development that Smith was banned from attending the Oscars for 10 whole years. Meanwhile, lots of people are demanding the “King Richard” star return the trophy he won that night.
“The 94th Oscars were meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year; however, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on stage,” an “Open Letter to Our Academy Family” stated. The letter was written by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences CEO Dawn Hudson and President David Rubin, The Daily Wire originally reported.
“During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room,” the letter continued. “For this, we are sorry. This was an opportunity for us to set an example for our guests, viewers and our Academy family around the world, and we fell short — unprepared for the unprecedented.”
“Today, the Board of Governors convened a meeting to discuss how best to respond to Will Smith’s actions at the Oscars, in addition to accepting his resignation,” it said.
“The Board has decided, for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards.”
Smith stormed the stage after Rock made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her bald head. Rock’s family members insist the comedian didn’t know she had the medical condition alopecia, which causes hair loss, otherwise he never would have made the joke.
“Jada, I love ya. GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see you,” Rock joked about her lack of hair.
Smith originally laughed along with the audience but video footage shows him reacting to Jada’s apparent anger. He then ran onto the stage and slapped Rock.
“Oh wow, wow. Will Smith just smacked the s*** outta me,” Rock said.
Smith kept repeating, “Keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth!”
“Wow, dude,” Rock replied. “It was a G.I. Jane joke.”
The “Men In Black” actor later apologized to Rock and fans for his actions.
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