Chris Rock is joking about the Oscars incident when Will Smith hit him onstage, while also continuing to be mostly reserved about his honest reaction to the shocking moment.
The comedian said during a stand-up show held at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino on Friday night, “I’m okay. I have a whole show and I’m not talking about that until I get paid,” in regards to the much-talked-about March 27 incident.
Rock jokingly added, “Life is good. I got my hearing back,” according to a report from the Palm Springs Desert Sun.
Will, 53, walked onstage at the 2022 Oscars and struck Rock, 57, in response to a joke the comedian made about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. Will shouted, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—–g mouth!” to a stunned Rock, who moved the show forward by presenting an award after being initially speechless.
The next day, Will, who won Best Actor later in the ceremony, apologized to Rock in a statement, explaining that he “reacted emotionally” because the “joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear.” (She has been open about living with hair loss due to alopecia.)
At his first public appearance after the event, Rock addressed the situation at a comedy show days later, saying, “I’m still processing what happened.” He told fans in the audience he would probably talk about what happened at some point in a more serious setting.
Will has since resigned from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, which hosts the Oscars. The Academy also banned the actor from attending its events for the next 10 years, and Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson apologized to Rock in a letter: “We want to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances.”
They added, “During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room. 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.”
“This action we are taking today in response to Will Smith’s behavior is a step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring trust in the Academy. We also hope this can begin a time of healing and restoration for all involved and impacted.”
Last week, Rock’s brother Kenny told the Los Angeles Times that Rock was not aware of Jada’s alopecia when he cracked the joke about her starring in a G.I. Jane sequel, a reference to Demi Moore’s shaved head in the 1997 film. “The joke was funny. It wasn’t hilarious funny, but I know that if he knew that she had alopecia … he wouldn’t make a joke about that. But he didn’t know,” said Kenny.
Following the Oscars incident, Jada shared a message on Instagram saying, “This is a season for healing and I’m here for it.” Less than a week before the awards show, Jada said in a social media upload while discussing her hair journey, “I don’t give two craps what people think of this bald head of mine. Because guess what? I love it.”[via]