"I'm still kind of processing what happened" - Chris Rock speaks out on Will Smith slap during Boston comedy show

Chris Rock mentioned he was "still processing" Will Smith's slapping incident (Image via Mike McGregor/Getty Images and Myung Chun/Getty Images)
Chris Rock mentioned he was "still processing" Will Smith's slapping incident (Image via Mike McGregor/Getty Images and Myung Chun/Getty Images)

On March 30, Chris Rock finally made his first public appearance since the 2022 Oscars. This was three days after Will Smith slapped him onstage at the 94th Academy Awards for joking about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.

The comedian opened his sold-out comedy show at Boston’s Wilbur Theatre with thunderous applause and a standing ovation from the crowd. Rock was largely taken aback by the reception and said:

"Whoa, okay! Yo, let me do the show!"

The 57-year-old then proceeded to ask the audience:

“How was your weekend?”

Following the initial reception, Rock finally addressed the Oscars controversy. In an audio obtained by Variety, the comedian could be heard saying he was still processing the situation but would not focus on the slapping incident on his show:

“I don't have a bunch of sh*t about what happened, 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.”

Chris Rock was met with another cheer from the crowd and said that he would “tell some jokes.” He also shared that it was “nice to just be out” before starting his act.


Did Chris Rock accept Will Smith’s apology?

Chris Rock is yet to respond to Will Smith's public apology (Image via Myung Chun/Getty Images)
Chris Rock is yet to respond to Will Smith's public apology (Image via Myung Chun/Getty Images)

On Sunday, Will Smith left the entertainment world in shock after slapping Chris Rock onstage at the 94th Academy Awards. The incident happened shortly after Rock likened Jada Pinkett Smith’s appearance to Demi Moore’s G.I. Jane as a reference to her shaved head.

Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia or excessive hair loss, was visibly disappointed with the joke, prompting her husband to smack Rock across the face. The incident was immediately dubbed one of the most shocking moments in the history of the Oscars.

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Nearly an hour after the incident, Smith received the Best Actor award for King Richard and apologized to The Academy and his fellow nominees during his acceptance speech:

“I want to apologize to the Academy. I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees. This is a beautiful moment, and I'm not 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 the people, the entire cast and crew of King Richard.”

However, he did not mention Rock’s name during his emotional address. The actor further spoke about defending his family and shared how love can make a person do “crazy things”:

“Love will make you do crazy things. Thank you to the Academy. I hope you will have me back.”

As the 2022 Oscars came to an end, Will Smith took to Instagram to issue an official statement about the incident and directly apologized to Chris Rock for his behavior:

“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.”

However, Rock did not acknowledge or respond to the apology and also refrained from providing an official statement about the incident. Meanwhile, his brother Tony took to Twitter to share that he has not approved Smith’s apology, on a personal level:

Rock’s first public address came during his latest comedy show in Boston. He told the audience that he was still “processing” the incident and confirmed that he would officially acknowledge the same in the later future:

“So, at some point, I'll talk about that sh*t. And it will be serious and funny.”

According to TMZ, the $50 base price of Chris Rock’s Boston comedy show surged as high as $8,000 following the Oscars fiasco. However, the comedian still performed to a sold-out theatre and received mass applause from his audience.

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Edited by Prem Deshpande