Chris Rock says the Oscar stage slap incident with Will Smith, the Hollywood actor, still stings.
While presenting an award in March 2022, Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett, prompting Smith to slap him.
He joked that Pinkett’s bald spot was funny, but it turned out to be the result of a medical issue.
The comedian Rock addressed the contentious episode at the 2022 Oscars during a live Netflix comedy performance.
“They say, ‘words hurt’. Anybody that says words hurt has never been punched in the face,” the comedian said.
“I’m going to try to do the show without offending anyone because you never know who might get triggered.”
On those who asked him if the slap hurt, Rocks referred to a 1991 single by Will Smith, commenting: “It still hurts!”
He added: “I got Summertime ringing in my ears. I took that hit like (Manny) Pacquiao.”
In a nod to the comedy show titled ‘Chris Rock: Selective Outrage’, the comedian said he believes Smith practices “selective outrage” and that the slap had more to do with the couple’s relationship struggles than his Oscar joke.
The comedian said: “We’ve all been cheated on, everybody here has been cheated on, none of us have ever been interviewed by the person that cheated on us on television. She hurt him way more than he hurt me.”
Rock ended the show by saying he didn’t fight the actor back because his parents raised him well.
“I was raised. And you know what my parents taught me? Don’t fight in front of white people,” the comedian said.
In 2022, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) handed Smith a 10-year ban from the Oscars.
The incident also generated backlash from members of Rock’s family who publicly berated Smith.
Smith has, however, apologised several times to Rock for slapping him at the 2022 Oscars.
“There is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave at that moment,” the actor said on an occasion.
“I am deeply remorseful and I’m trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself.”
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