Following the headline-making slap at the Oscars on Sunday night, Chris Rock has remained quiet about the incident between himself and Will Smith.
But on Wednesday night (March 30), the comedian spoke out publicly for the first time during his stand-up show in Boston. “How was your weekend?” he asked the crowd, who began laughing, as reported by Variety. “I don’t have a bunch of sh– 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. So at some point, I’ll talk about that sh–. And it will be serious and funny.”
The audience then broke into a chant, shouting “F— Will Smith,” which can be heard in the audio Variety posted on Instagram here.
The tense moment occurred Sunday after Rock made an onstage joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, during the Academy Awards ceremony. “Jada, I love you. G.I Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,” the comedian said about her shaved head — which, unbeknownst to Rock, is caused by the actress’ struggles with alopecia.
Pinkett Smith rolled her eyes in response, while Smith laughed. Shortly after, the King Richard actor stormed the stage to slap Rock, who attempted to continue his banter before Smith began shouting from his seat, “Keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth.”
Smith has since issued an apology via Instagram, writing, “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. 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. 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.”
Rock declined to press charges against Smith for the slap, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.