Chris Rock opened up about the infamous “slap heard around the world” during a recent comedy show in Holmdel, New Jersey more than he ever has in the four months since Will Smith smacked him on live television at the 94th Annual Academy Awards.
“Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face,” Rock said per Us Weekly. “I’m not a victim. Yeah, that shit hurt, muthafucka. But I shook that shit off and went to work the next day. I don’t go to the hospital for a paper cut.”
Chris Rock was at the PNC Banks Art Center alongside fellow comedian Kevin Hart as part of the Rock Hart Only Headliners Allowed Tour when he made the comment. Prior to that, Rock had briefly mentioned it at a show in Boston just days after the incident but vowed not to expound on the topic unless he was properly paid.
Chris Rock had just made a G.I. Jane joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett when the former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star marched onstage and smacked him right across the face. The audience and those watching from home initially thought it was a part of the show, but once Smith was back at his seat and yelling expletives as the camera continued to roll, it became clear there was nothing funny about what had just occurred.
Everyone has their theories as to why Smith lost his temper, even Rock’s brother who thinks it’s Pinkett’s love for 2Pac that sent him over the edge. But according to Smith, who publicly apologized to Rock the following day, he simply screwed up.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” Smith wrote via Instagram at the time. “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.”
As for Rock, he’s still able to poke fun at the situation. Earlier this week, Hart gifted him with a live goat named “Will Smith” as Dave Chappelle looked on. The three comedians had a good laugh and carried on with the show. The Rock Hart Only Headliners Allowed Tour concluded on Monday (July 25) at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
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