Back to business! Chris Rock took the stage for the first time since his 2022 Oscars drama with Will-Smith – and spoke briefly about the altercation.
“What’s up, Boston?” Rock, 57, asked the audience during his Wednesday, March 30 comedy show at the Wilbur Theater in Boston, Massachusetts. “How was your weekend?”
The Grown Ups actor noted, “I’m still processing what happened,” before getting into his whole routine. Rock’s return to his stand-up roots came just days after making headlines for his mid-Oscars altercation with Smith, 53, on March 27.
Rock was spotted at the scene early Wednesday, just days after making headlines for his mid-Oscars altercation with Smith, 53, on March 27.
At the 94th Annual Academy Awards, Rock made waves when he joked he was excited to see Jada Pinkett Smith in a potential GI Jane sequel, referencing her shaved head. Pinkett Smith, who has spoken out about alopecia, rolled her eyes during the show, but the blow upset her husband.
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum stormed off stage during the show and slapped Rock in the face before returning to his seat. Smith then shouted at the comedian, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth.”
While sources exclusively told Us Weekly on Monday, March 28, the mood in the audience immediately changed after it became apparent Smith’s outburst wasn’t part of the show. However, the actors in attendance gave the Philadelphia native a standing ovation when he went on to win Best Actor for his role in King Richard.
Smith apologized to the Academy and his fellow actors during his acceptance speech but did not address Rock directly after the altercation. “Love will make you do crazy things,” the Wild West actor states.
Smith later publicly apologized for his actions via a statement on social media. “Violence in all its forms is toxic and destructive,” he wrote on Monday. “My behavior at the Oscars last night was unacceptable and inexcusable.”
Later, the Hitch star apologized to the Saturday Night Live alum, writing, “I was out of line and wrong. I’m embarrassed, and my actions weren’t indicative of the man I wanted to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.
Although Smith took ownership of his response to Rock’s remarks, multiple sources told Us that the Men in Black actor did not reach out to the Madagascar star privately after the Oscars.
Rock decided to stay focused on his tour despite the uncomfortable situation, a second insider told Us. “He’s moving on and looking forward to his upcoming gigs,” the source said.
According to StubHub, the South Carolina native even saw a surge in ticket sales for his Ego Death World Tour, which brought in 25 times daily sales from Rock’s shows after the awards show drama.
The Academy, for its part, released multiple statements about the altercation and launched a formal review into the events that unfolded on Sunday. “Things unfolded in a way we could not have foreseen,” they said in a statement Wednesday via The Associated Press, saying they tried to get Smith to leave the show. in vain. “While we would like to clarify that Mr. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and declined, we recognize that we could have handled the situation differently.”
The organization called Smith’s actions “deeply shocking” and apologized to Rock for what he experienced during his presentation. “Thank you [Chris] for your resilience at that time,” the Academy continued. “We also apologize to our nominees, guests, and viewers for what happened at what should have been a celebratory event.”