Chris Rock might be rubbing his slapped face all the way to the bank in the aftermath of the incident Sunday at the Oscars in which actor Will Smith strode to the stage and assaulted the comedian.
Rock, who was a presenter, made a joke about Smith’s wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, preparing for a role in “G.I. Jane 2,” an apparent reference to her shaved head.
That initially drew laughter from Smith, but moments later he walked up to Rock onstage and slapped the comedian. Smith then returned to his seat to tell Rock never to speak about his wife. Moments later, he received the Oscar for best actor.
So here’s that Will Smith and Chris Rock moment in its entirety… judge for yourselves, guys. pic.twitter.com/mPNAixXIF9
— Justin Baragona (@justinbaragona) March 28, 2022
But Rock might be getting the last laugh in the aftermath of the slap heard ’round the world.
As the entertainment world convulsed over what, if any, punishment should be meted out to Smith, Rock was becoming a must-see act.
His comedy tour sales surged after the incident on the Oscars stage drew global attention, according to Variety.
The secondary ticketing marketplace TickPick said it has sold more Rock tickets since he was slapped than in the month before that.
We sold more tickets to see Chris Rock overnight than we did in the past month combined.
— TickPick (@TickPick) March 28, 2022
Demand is also boosting ticket prices, which have risen to $341 after being at $46 on March 18, the report said.
Rock is scheduled to perform at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston from Wednesday through Friday before officially kicking off his Ego Death World Tour on Saturday, according to Variety.
He will visit more than 30 cities for the North American portion of his tour.
“Lauded by peers and critics alike, Chris Rock is one of our generation’s strongest comedic voices,” Live Nation said in a statement. “With a career spanning more than three decades, Rock has enjoyed ongoing success in both film and television as a comedian, actor, writer, producer and director.”
Many praised the way Rock handled the incident.
It’s not ok to come up on stage and hit a dude cause you don’t like the humor. It’s not ok at a Comedy Club, concert hall or hosting some cheeseball award show. Chris Rock is a stand up comedian and a standup guy who carried on. I think I would have run.
— Tim Allen (@ofctimallen) March 28, 2022
Everyone talking about #WillSmith but the REAL MAN was #ChrisRock. This man could have taken the Will Smith low road but stood there LIKE a REAL MAN, COMPOSED HIMSELF, REMAINED PROFESSIONAL, and chose not to embarrass minorities anymore than what had already happened. pic.twitter.com/RKyEhclARh
— Mr.Keccak256 (@MRMousaviniya) March 28, 2022
Maybe Chris Rock doesnt keep calm & goes back to hit Will Smith which leads to a brawl. It could have been a much uglier scene than it already was. #WillSmith is a POS for hitting him on stage. Kudos to #ChrisRock for restraint, presenting the award & having the #Oscars continue!
— Dan “I Stand With Ukraine” (@ddanpereira) March 28, 2022
Honestly, I applaud this 57 year old legend. He demonstrated what true restraint looks like, after being humiliated by millions internationally. He remained calm and cool in the face of adversity. Chris Rock even declined to press charges. That’s a real King! #Oscars #ChrisRock pic.twitter.com/VC9oPz1m6W
— King (@RnBMaster) March 28, 2022
As for Smith, it’s unclear whether he will be held accountable for slapping Rock.
The Los Angeles Police Department said no criminal charges would be filed against the actor.
Should Smith have to forfeit his Oscar?
“LAPD investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program,” the department said, according to Variety. “The incident involved one individual slapping another. The individual involved has declined to file a police report. If the involved party desires a police report at a later date, LAPD will be available to complete an investigative report.”
There were rumblings, however, that Smith might have to return the Oscar he won Sunday night for violating the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ code of conduct.
“The Academy condemns the actions of Mr. Smith at last night’s show. We have officially started a formal review around the incident and will explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law,” the academy said in a statement on Monday, according to The Hollywood Reporter.