Chris Rock Breaks His Silence on Will Smith Oscars Altercation

Chris Rock's appearance at the 2022 Oscars was marred by a physical altercation with Will Smith. Chris spoke about the incident at his comedy show in Boston on March 30.

By Allison Crist Mar 31, 2022 12:40 AMTags
Watch: Will Smith SLAPS Chris Rock at Oscars 2022

Chris Rock is breaking his silence after Will Smith slapped him on stage at the 2022 Oscars.

The March 27 awards show came to a brief standstill when the presenter took a swipe at Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head, joking, "Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see it, alright?" The crack prompted Jada—who has been open about her alopecia diagnosis—to roll her eyes and Will to take the stage. 

Returning to his seat, post-slap, Will yelled to Chris, "Keep my wife's name out your f--king mouth."

Chris kept his cool on stage and quickly segued to the Best Documentary presentation, but now, he's speaking out.

At the beginning of his comedy show in Boston on March 30, Chris jokingly asked the audience, "How was your weekend?" according to audio of the show published by Variety.

Following laughs, he shared, "I don't have a bunch of s--t about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend."

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What will he say about the incident? "I'm still kind of processing what happened," Chris said. "So, at some point I'll talk about that s--t. And it will be serious and funny."

But for the time being, Chris is focusing on his standup, adding, "I'm gonna tell some jokes... It's nice to just be out."

ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Chris did not file a police report with the Los Angeles Police Department following the physical altercation. In a statement obtained by E! News, the LAPD said their "investigative entities are aware of an incident between two individuals during the Academy Awards program. 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."

The Academy also addressed the incident prior to Chris' response, saying it "does not condone violence of any form" in a statement posted to Twitter on March 28, hours after the awards ceremony. The Academy has since said they are exploring possible consequences for Will's actions, stating on March 30 that "Mr. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused." 

Will, for his part, apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees after being awarded the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Venus and Serena Williams' father, tennis coach Richard Williams, in King Richard.

"Art imitates life, I look like the crazy father," Will, who shares kids Jaden Smith and Willow Smith with Jada and son Trey Smith with ex Sheree Zampino, said. "Love will make you do crazy things."

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Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Will apologized directly to Chris in a social media message the following day. "I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris," he wrote in a statement. "I was out of line and I was wrong. 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."

Jada also seemingly referenced the debacle on March 29, when she shared a message that read, "This is a season for healing. And I'm here for it."

The incident was not the first time the comedian's poked fun at her on the Oscars stage. When he hosted the Academy Awards in 2016, he teased Jada for skipping out on the ceremony due to a lack of diversity, saying, "Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna's panties—I wasn't invited."

And though Jada previously brushed off the jab, saying, "it comes with the territory but we gotta keep it moving," this one is a bit more personal for the star, who has been open about her struggle with hair loss. 

"I was in the shower one day and had just handfuls of hair in my hands and I was just like, 'Oh my god, am I going bald?'" she shared in a May 2018 episode of her Facebook Watch series Red Table Talk. "It was one of those times in my life where I was literally shaking in fear...That's why I cut my hair, and why I continue to cut it."

Keeping reading to see other celebrities have said about the 2022 Oscars debacle.

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Alec Baldwin: "I am not reading much about how, or even if, the producers attended to Chris. But I love you, @chrisrock . And I'm sorry the Oscars turned into the Jerry Springer show."

Michael Che: "Im just saying, im frankly disappointed that the academy would just let will smith PHYSICALLY ATTACK a man, onstage, just because he didnt like a joke!... After that childish overreaction, they hand this guy a trophy?!"

Zoe Kravitz: "here's a picture of my dress at the show where we are apparently assaulting people on stage now."

OJ Simpson: "It was unfortunate. I think Will was wrong. Look, I understood the feeling. In my life, I've been through a lot of crap, and I was raising two young kids, and every comedian in the country had an OJ routine, and don't think I wouldn't wanna slap a couple of those guys. But you gotta accept, it's humor. I didn't think that was all that egregious. I thought it was a semi-funny joke."


Thomas Haden Church: "I think that Will Smith should be banned from the Oscars for the rest of his life... I think he should have his Academy membership stripped, but I don't think he should have the Oscar taken from him."

Lamar Odom: "He loves his wife. I do not condone violence against anyone... would I have hit him?, NO but he did what a husband is called to do. Protect his wife, from anything and anyone who causes her pain. Had I protected my wife versus mentally, emotionally and spiritually hurting her, I may still be married."

Jim Carrey: "I was sickened by the standing ovation... I felt like Hollywood is just spineless en masse and it really felt like, oh, this is a really clear indication that we're not the cool club anymore... I'd have announced this morning that I was suing Will for $200 million because that video is going to be there forever. It's going to be ubiquitous. You know, that insult is gonna last a very long time."


Adam Sandler: "Can't wait for [Chris Rock's tour]. Love you buddy!"

Tiffany Haddish: "When I saw a Black man stand up for his wife. That meant so much to me…. As a woman, who has been unprotected, for someone to say, 'Keep my wife's name out your mouth, leave my wife alone,' that's what your husband is supposed to do, right? Protect you. And that meant the world to me. And maybe the world might not like how it went down, but for me, it was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen because it made me believe that there are still men out there that love and care about their women, their wives."

Sophia Bush: "Violence isn't ok. Assault is never the answer. Also? This is the 2nd time that Chris has made fun of Jada on the #Oscars stage, & tonight he went after her alopecia. Punching down at someone's auto-immune disease is wrong. Doing so on purpose is cruel. They both need a breather."

Kathy Griffin: "Let me tell you something, it's a very bad practice to walk up on stage and physically assault a Comedian. Now we all have to worry about who wants to be the next Will Smith in comedy clubs and theaters."

Rob Reiner: "Will Smith owes Chris Rock a huge apology. There is no excuse for what he did. He's lucky Chris is not filing assault charges. The excuses he made tonight were bulls--t."

Mia Farrow: "It was just a joke. Jokes are what Chris Rock does. Always has been edgy. This was a mild joke for him. And i love GI Jane."

Nicki Minaj: "I love Chris Rock. I don't think he would've made that joke had he known what Jada recently shared- but between him & the whole team @ the #Oscars you mean to tell me not ONE of y'all heard this woman just share this heartbreaking story? #ComeOnSon … Here's the thing… And this is such an AMAZING - EYE OPENING example of it…  The husband gets a front row seat to his wife's pain… he's the 1 consoling her… drying her tears behind closed doors when those cameras go off. Social media has made ppl feel that these 'husbands' won't ever run into them in real life."

Cardi B: "At your highest moment …be careful that's when the devil tries to come for you."

Jamie Dornan: "What a fight, sorry, Night!"

Cheryl Burke: "I can't stop thinking about what we saw at the Oscars. I don't agree with making fun of a medical condition, but the way Will handled it wasn't ok. As a survivor of abuse, I think a leader of his stature should show kids, esp his own, how to handle conflict with love not fear."

Natasha Rothwell: "Never thought the La La land debacle would ever be eclipsed but here we are."

Trevor Noah: "Wtaf????? That wasn't scripted?????"

Maria Shriver: "We should never get to a place where we sit and watch a movie star hit someone on global television then, moments later, get a standing ovation while talking about love. #WillSmith #Oscars."

Margaret Joseph: "Wow so disappointed in Will Smiths behavior tonight. @chrisrock is a class act he handled himself with true professionalism . Amazing the way he kept it moving#Oscar."

Head to E! Online's Oscars page for a full recap of the 2024 Academy Awards.