Hours after Will Smith apologized for slapping Chris Rock four months ago during the 2022 Oscars show, the comedian was in fine form, talking about victimhood while giving Smith a new nickname.
During the March 27 show, Rock told a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith, Will Smith’s wife, who keeps her head shaved because of alopecia. Smith went on stage and slapped Rock during the live TV broadcast.
“I was fogged out by that point. It is all fuzzy. I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that, he’s not ready to talk. When he is, he will reach out. I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I am here whenever you are ready to talk,” Smith said, according to Deadline.
— New York Post (@nypost) July 27, 2022
Rock touched on the incident that night during a routine at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.
“Everybody is trying to be a f***ing victim,” Rock said, according to People.
“If everybody claims to be a victim, then nobody will hear the real victims,” he said.
“Even me getting smacked by Suge Smith … I went to work the next day, I got kids,” he said, People interpreted the “Suge Smith” reference as a play on words for Suge Knight, the Death Row Records CEO who is now in jail.
The comedian also joked at a recent stand-up show that he was “smacked by Suge Smith.” https://t.co/T3NIABDA6Y
— HuffPost (@HuffPost) July 31, 2022
“Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face,” Rock said.
The theme has been a common one for Rock, who during a New Jersey show said “I’m not a victim,” according to Variety.
“But I shook that s***t off and went to work the next day. I don’t go to the hospital for a paper cut,” he said during the New Jersey show.
I haven’t heard the whole context but taken in isolation, I think Chris Rock’s response to The Slap, ‘if everyone claims to be a victim, then no one will hear the real victims’, is a very moving and powerful statement
— Barney Norris (@barnontherun) July 30, 2022
During his apology video, Smith said “My behavior was unacceptable.
However, he made it clear he felt insulted by Rock’s joke, according to Deadline.
“I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuance and complexity of what happened in that moment. I’m not going to try to unpack all of that right now, but I can say to all of you, there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment. No part of me that thinks that is the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insult,” he said.