Chris Rock Breaks Silence On Will Smith Oscars Slap

It seems that everyone had weighed in on the controversial 2022 Oscars #SlapGate, except one of the people actually involved in the incident, Chris Rock himself.

The comedian, who got slapped by Will Smith on stage after he made a joke about the actor's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, was noticeably quiet following the physical altercation. On stage, right after he had been assaulted, he kept his composure and managed to make light of the situation. "Will Smith just smacked the s*** out of me," he said at the time. "That was the greatest night in the history of television."

People applauded Rock for being a class act despite getting hit in front of a large audience and millions of viewers worldwide. Many of his peers in the industry sided with him, too, including Adam Sandler, Jim Carrey, and Amy Schumer. "The Grownups" star notably declined to file a police report against Smith after the incident, but in his first show following the Oscars, he finally let us in on his thoughts.

Chris Rock says he is 'still processing' #SlapGate

Three days after he had been smacked by Will Smith on the 2022 Oscars stage, Chris Rock finally broke his silence.

During his standup show in Boston on March 30, Rock was met with overwhelming support from the audience. "What's up, Boston? How was your weekend?!" he asked the crowd and drew laughs. It didn't take him long to address the elephant in the room, but he didn't dwell much on it. "I'm still kind of processing what happened," he confessed, per Variety, before saying he had prepared a bunch of jokes ahead of the show so as not to disappoint people who were looking forward to a statement. He did, however, say he will discuss it at length sometime in the future. "At some point I'll talk about that s***. And it will be serious and funny."

"I didn't watch [the Oscars] live but I watched the clip plenty of times," one audience member said, admitting they snatched tickets almost immediately after the Oscars. "I hope he leads [his set] with the whole situation and he can find the humor in it." 

Meanwhile, according to various ticket selling platforms, tickets to Rock's upcoming tour are selling like hotcakes, with some tickets being resold for as high as $8,000. On March 28, ticket marketplace TickPick shared on Twitter, "We sold more tickets to see Chris Rock overnight than we did in the past month combined."

Was there bad blood before the slap?

As Chris Rock continues to try to take in the violent incident that unfolded on March 27, rumors have been swirling that he and Will Smith could have had some drama before the whole thing unfolded. A source alleged to People shortly after the slap went down, "When Chris hosted the Oscars in 2016, Jada was boycotting because of 'Oscars So White.' In his monologue, he made fun of her, saying she can't boycott something she wasn't invited to. Will was still mad about that." For those unaware, Rock made a quip about Jada during the ceremony, telling the world she was boycotting the ceremony that year due to the lack of diversity amongst the nominees. Rock joked that it didn't matter, insinuating that she had not been invited to attend anyway.

As for where Will and Rock stand after everything? Well, there are differing reports on that one. Sean "Diddy" Combs supposedly told Page Six on March 28 when asked if there was drama between the two, "That's not a problem. That's over. I can confirm that. It's all love. They're brothers." However, he later claimed what he said was taken out of context, telling TMZ on March 30, "I never confirmed they had reconciled. I said, 'As brothers they will work it out and let's move on with love.'" TMZ also claimed the day after the incident that Will and Rock hadn't spoken since the slapping.

The consequences

Chris Rock breaking his silence came as the Academy confirmed that Will Smith could face serious repercussions for the slap seen around the world. In a statement issued to People on March 30, as Rock shed some more light on the incident, so did the Academy. They confirmed that Will was actually asked to leave after his outburst over the Jada Pinkett Smith joke, but claimed he was unwillingly to leave the event. "Things unfolded in a way we could not have anticipated," they said, adding, "We also recognize we could have handled the situation differently." They also confirmed that action could be taken against the star, which could even include him being suspended from the organization.

The members who are reported to have attempted to get Will out of the building were reported to be pretty high up in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences too, with TMZ reporting it was the Academy's President, David Rubin, and CEO, Dawn Hudson. Things were reported to have gotten tense, as they supposedly asked him to leave the ceremony pretty quickly after the slap went down and were reported to be seriously upset about the incident.

Will apologized to the Academy during the ceremony as he gave his speech after winning Best Actor, but did not address Rock explicitly. He did, however, in his Instagram apology on March 28, writing, "I was out of line and I was wrong."