'Still hurts,' Chris Rock jokes about Will Smith's Oscars slap
It is no secret that last year's Will Smith slap controversy, the most infamous moment in the Academy Awards history, is forever etched in audiences' memories. After keeping mum for a long time, comedian-actor Chris Rock has finally opened up about the incident in his Netflix comedy special, Selective Outrage, which premiered on Saturday. Apparently, Rock is still enraged at Smith for his outrage.
Why does this story matter?
- The disgraceful incident took place on the night of March 27 at the Academy Awards, when host Rock joked about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, saying he couldn't wait to see her "star in GI Jane 2," indirectly hinting at her shaved head.
- The King Richard actor responded to the joke by striking the comedian onstage.
- Later, he apologized to Rock for his outburst.
'People asked me, did it hurt? It still hurts': Rock
Rock spoke at length about the incident. The 58-year-old quipped, "Anybody that says words hurt has never been punched in the face." Saving the best for the last, he said "People are like, 'Did it hurt?' It still hurts! I got Summertime ringing in my ears"—referring to Smith's 1991 single. The slap, he claimed, reflected Smith's anger at his wife more than his joke.
Rock also addressed reason for not fighting back
Besides making it clear that Smith slapped him on stage because he and his wife had differences, Rock let out all of his frustration during his comedy special. He ended the show by addressing his reason for not fighting back. He said, "I got parents! Because I was raised! And you know what my parents taught me? Don't fight in front of white people."
Academy president addressed controversy during Oscar Luncheon
Meanwhile, during the 2023 Oscars Nominees Luncheon on February 13, Academy President Janet Yang reiterated that the organization's response to "the slap controversy" was "inadequate." Furthermore, this year, the Academy has also planned to keep a "crisis team" in place. To note, after the incident, Smith resigned from the Academy, and he was also banned from the prestigious awards for 10 years.