Chris Rock finally addressed Will Smith’s Oscars slap — but he didn’t have much to say.
According to Variety, the comedian briefly spoke about the incident during his show in Boston on Wednesday night. “I don’t have a bunch of shit about what happened,” Rock said, “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,” Rock continued. “So, at some point I’ll talk about that shit. And it will be serious and funny.”
“I’m going to tell some jokes. It’s nice to just be out,” Rock added before launching into his set
Prior to announcing the winner for documentary feature during Sunday’s Academy Awards, Rock cracked a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair, prompting her husband Smith to walk up to Rock and strike him with his open hand.
The US broadcast quickly cut the sound, but the international feed captured the full interaction. Rock said, “Wow, Will Smith just smacked the shit out of me.” Smith returned to his seat, where he yelled out, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth!”
“Wow, dude, it was a G.I. Jane joke,” Rock retorted. Smith yelled again, “Keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth!” (Pinkett Smith announced last year that she had shaved her head after struggling with alopecia.)
Rock declined to press charges against Smith, but the Academy has since launched a “formal review” into the actor’s conduct. “Consistent with the Academy’s Standards of Conduct, as well as California law, Mr. Smith is being provided at least 15 days’ notice of a vote regarding his violations and sanctions, and the opportunity to be heard beforehand by means of a written response,” the Academy said. “At the next board meeting on April 18th, the Academy may take any disciplinary action, which may include suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct.”
While Smith apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees during his acceptance speech that night, he didn’t apologize to Rock until the following day — probably after he was informed of the investigation. “Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” Smith said. “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.”
Earlier today, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science revealed that representatives of the organization did in fact ask Smith to leave the event, but he refused.
Wednesday night’s show in Boston marks the beginning of Rock’s “Ego Death World Tour,” which runs through November. You can purchase tickets here.