Chris Rock has an interesting take on the infamous Oscars slap incident, and it's that he was actually nice.
Certain moments in history seem to reverberate through time, never losing steam. While many significant events fade with memory, others seem to burn stronger, searing themselves into the minds of society. These moments tend to have legs that carry them throughout the weeks and months. As soon as we think society has moved on from the moment, we are reminded of it by some new angle or perspective, and the conversation begins all over again. Such is the circumstance surrounding the infamous slap-heard-round-the-world. The 2022 Acadamy Awards was marred by one solitary moment that felt like it was capping off the last two years of unbelievably strange events. The whole world paused when Will Smith strode up on stage and slapped fellow actor Chris Rock for making a joke about his wife’s lack of hair. Months later, following Smith’s apology, Rock has an interesting take on the event.
Chris Rock and fellow comedian Dave Chappelle are launching a comedy tour together in the United Kingdom. In a joint interview with The Daily Mail, Chappelle asked Rock if the slap hurt, and he responded that he got slapped for the nicest joke he ever told. The joke itself was tamer than the ones he typically delivers in his standup. Jada Pinket-Smith arrived at the Academy Awards with her signature short hair. The look inspired a comment from Rock that he couldn’t wait to see her in G.I. Jane 2. The comment was in reference to Demi Moore’s buzzcut from the original film. The joke caused Will Smith to stand up from his seat, walk up to the presenter on stage, and slap him. The resulting backlash to Smith halted a career that, on the very same evening, saw him win Best Actor for his role in King Richard.
The interview didn’t end with Chris Rock’s comments on Smith. Chappelle also weighed in on the events by addressing who Smith is and who we have seen. Chappelle asserts that Smith did a perfect impression of a perfect person for the last thirty years. He believes that the moment he slapped Rock, we got to see the real Smith. He also says that he hopes the legendary actor doesn’t put his mask back on and continues to be the real him. Chappelle admitted that he actually relates to both men. The pair have both seen their fair share of controversy recently and look to set their careers back on track with the tour.
Smith broke the silence after months of self-imposed exile to issue an apology for his actions. Chris Rock was the focus of his apology, but the video didn’t receive the feedback he was hoping for. While the actor seemed to be expecting it would smooth the waters for Rock and his fanbase, it didn’t seem to do the trick. He did, however, get some support from some surprising places, including Will Packer. If the apology was enough for an Oscars producer, we could hope it will be enough for Rock.