At the 94th annual Academy Awards last March, Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her hair loss condition, known as alopecia. Smith stormed onto the stage and slapped Rock, then sat back down and cursed him out.
The “King Richard” actor then took the stage a short while later to accept his award for Best Actor Oscar and apologize to his fellow nominees, but not to Rock. Although a five-minute apology video finally surfaced on Friday, many fans feel like it might be too little too late to repair their relationship.
It seems that Rock might certainly feel that way, as one insider told PEOPLE that Rock has “moved on” from the Oscars slap and wants to put it behind him.
One Source Claims That Will Smith ‘Needs To Deal With His Issues’ While Chris Rock Is ‘Fine’
An insider told PEOPLE on Monday that Chris Rock has “moved on” from the slap seen around the world, although it appears that the “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” is still struggling to come to terms with it.
“Chris doesn’t need to talk,” the source said. “This is clearly something that bothers Will more than Chris.” The insider added, “Will needs to deal with his issues,” but noted that “Chris is fine.”
Another industry insider said that it’s a good sign that Rock has been making jokes about what happened. Rock cracked a joke about Will Smith on Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, almost a week before the video, and then again a few hours after the video was posted during a performance on his Ego Death World Tour in Atlanta.
“The fact that he is making jokes about it already is a good thing,” the source claimed. “That means he is assessing it. But the stress of the slap and the aftermath has not taken over his life. Quite the opposite.”
Rock Jokes About Being ‘Smacked’ By ‘Suge Smith’ After His Apology Video
As CNN reported, Chris Rock took the stage in Atlanta on Friday night to continue his Ego Death World Tour. During his performance, Rock opened up on the infamous slap, saying, “Yeah, that s— hurt, motherf—ker, but I shook that s— off and went to work the next day.” Rock also said that he is “not a victim,” adding, “I don’t go to the hospital for a papercut.”
As he said in his show in NYC, Rock insisted that he is not a victim. “Everybody is trying to be a f—ing victim. If everybody claims to be a victim, then nobody will hear the real victims,” Rock said last week. “Even me getting smacked by Suge Smith … I went to work the next day, I got kids.”
He later made the same joke that he had made back in NYC, saying, “Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face.”
Will Smith Apologizes Directly To Chris Rock For Oscars Slap
In the viral Instagram apology video, the “Independence Day” actor began his video with a brief statement. “It’s been a minute… Over the last few months, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and personal work…” a message on the screen read. “You asked a lot of fair questions that I wanted to take some time to answer.”
When asked why he didn’t apologize to Rock in his Oscars acceptance speech, Smith said he was “fogged out by that point” and said that his recollection is “fuzzy.”
“I reached out to Chris, and the message that came back is he’s not ready to talk, but when he is, he will reach out,” he said before addressing Chris directly. “So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”
Smith also apologized to Rock’s family, mother, and brother, Tony Rock, who had appeared in the 2007 Smith-created sitcom “All of Us.” In the video, Smith recalled, “We had a great relationship,” adding, “Tony Rock was my man and this is probably irreparable.”
The full apology video can be seen and read here.