Chris Rock Speaks Up About the Oscars Slap

Chris Rock Will Smith

Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images

Chris Rock has finally spoken up about the time that Will Smith slapped him on the face at this year’s Oscars.

The comedian talked about it in the New York City leg of the Only Headliners Allowed comedy tour, which he shares with Kevin Hart.

Rock said, “Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face. I’m not a victim. Yeah, that s— hurt, motherf—. But I shook that s— off and went to work the next day. I don’t go to the hospital for a paper cut.”

The slap

The incident happened at this year’s Academy Awards ceremony on March 27, 2022, when Rock joked about Pinkett-Smith, who has alopecia. While presenting the award for best documentary, he said, “Jada, I love you, G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it.” Jada’s husband Smith went up on stage, slapped Rock, and returned to his seat.

Minutes after, Smith won the Best Actor Award for his titular role in King Richard.

During his speech, he said, “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.”

In the same speech, he said, “I wanna apologize to the Academy and to all my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment and I’m 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, the entire cast and crew.”

Smith later resigned from the Academy after a disciplinary hearing notice. In a statement, he said, “My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable. The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home.”

Smith, however, will still keep his Best Actor trophy for King Richard. He may still be invited to future ceremonies and be nominated for an award.

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