On Sunday, March 27, Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith and her hair loss condition, known as alopecia. As a result, her husband Will Smith stormed the stage and slapped Rock. He later retook his seat and yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—ing mouth” twice.
Rock continued on with his presentation and the “King Richard” actor took the stage for a second time that night to receive his first-ever Best Actor Oscar. Although he tearfully apologized to the Academy and the rest of the nominees, he waited until Monday night to post a heartfelt apology to Rock on Instagram.
The slap seen around the world has been a hot topic of debate for over a week now, with Will Smith still set to be disciplined by the Academy on April 18 despite resigning from his membership in the organization last Friday. Although Will Smith’s future career in Hollywood has been brought into question, people are also talking about Rock’s inappropriate joke.
Source Claims Chris Rock ‘Never Expected To Get Slapped’
Producer Will Packer said on last Friday’s Good Morning America interview that Rock’s joke about Jada’s hair loss condition was unscripted. A Hollywood insider spoke to PEOPLE and mentioned that this isn’t the first time that the comedian has gone “too far” with his jokes.
The source told people that Rock “actually handled it well. “He is used to people getting bent out of shape at his no holds barred humor … but I’m sure he never expected to get slapped.” They noted that Rock’s previous jokes have “done nothing but help his career.”
“You hire Chris to get people’s reactions, which are immediate and usually invite hysterical laughing,” the source continued. “The incident has so many layers of intrigue and outrage that it should keep him on everyone’s mind for a long time. It should boost his comedy appearances.”
“Some people think he goes too far … Chris is a big success, but he can go over the line and upset people,” the source admitted. “Generally, it hasn’t hurt his career, but there have been times when he goes beyond just setting people off. It is expected, and that is who he is.”
Since the slap, Rock has performed at six sold-out shows at The Wilbur in Boston ahead of his Ego Death World tour, which starts on Saturday in Atlantic City and ends on November 18 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
Wanda Sykes Reveals Chris Rock Apologized To Her At Oscars After Party
Sykes said to Ellen, “I hope he doesn’t mind me saying this, but I saw Chris at [Guy Oseary’s after party], and as soon as I walked up to him, the first thing he said is, ‘I’m so sorry.’ I was like, ‘Why are you apologizing?’ He was like, ‘It was supposed to be your night. You and Amy [Schumer], and Regina [Hall] were doing such a great job. I’m so sorry this is now going to be about this.’”
Skyes added that the incident was “sickening” and said that she “physically felt ill” and was left “a little traumatized” by the event.
“It was sickening. It was absolutely— I physically felt ill, and I’m still a little traumatized by it,” Sykes continued. “And for them to let [Will] stay in that room and enjoy the rest of the show and accept his award, I was like, ‘How gross is this?’ This sends the wrong message. If you assault somebody, you get escorted out of the building, and that’s it. But for them to let him continue, I thought it was gross.”
Co-host Amy Schumer said she was still “shocked and terrified” in a now-deleted Instagram post.
“I love my friend @chrisrock and believe he handled it like a pro,” she wrote. “Stayed up there and gave an Oscar to his friend @questlove, and the whole thing was so disturbing.”
“I’m still in shock and stunned and sad. I’m proud of myself and my cohosts. But yeah,” she added. “Waiting for this sickening feeling to go away from what we all witnessed.”