Chris Rock Responds to Will Smith’s Slap in Standup Show

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Comedian Chris Rock issued his first public statement after Will Smith appeared to slap him during Sunday night’s Academy Awards show.

“I don’t have a bunch of [expletive] about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend. I’m still kind of processing what happened. So, at some point I’ll talk about that [expletive]. And it will be serious and funny,” Rock told an audience in Boston, according to reporters at the scene.

Rock didn’t make any mention of the incident after that. The Los Angeles Police Department on Monday said Rock, 57, would not file charges against Smith, 53, over the incident.

Sales for Rock’s tour, including his show in Boston, surged after the Oscars incident, which drew significant media coverage. StubHub told The Hollywood Reporter that daily sales for Rock’s tour were 25 times higher than in the previous month.

“Now that we are 48 hours from Sunday evening, it’s evident that demand for Chris Rock shows has jumped dramatically, based on our ticket-buying trends on StubHub,” Mike Silveira, spokesperson for StubHub, told the publication. “At this stage in his tour, on an average day, we’d expect to see a spike in sales in the 24 or 48 hours prior to a show date as last-minute sales roll in—but it is incredibly unusual to see the spike we have experienced.”

On Sunday night, as Rock was presenting an awards category, the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” star then walked onstage and slapped Rock before yelling at Rock to “keep my wife’s name out your [expletive] mouth.”

While some speculated the incident was a scripted moment to draw more viewers into watching the annual Oscars broadcast, which has seen a year-over-year drop in ratings in recent years, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said it condemned the incident and is considering taking punitive action against Smith. Smith later won a Best Actor Academy Award for his role in “King Richard.”

On Wednesday evening, the Academy alleged in a statement that Smith refused to leave the Oscars show after the slap. The film organization said it will now initiate “disciplinary proceedings” against the “Men in Black” star.

Smith, meanwhile, issued an apology to Rock earlier this week in a lengthy statement.

“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong,” Smith wrote. “I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”

Jack Phillips

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Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.



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