Chris Rock had his first comedy show since getting a public apology from Will Smith for being on the receiving end of a slap from him at the 2022 Oscars. During the show at the Fox theater in Atlanta he told a few jokes about the experience according to People.com.
“Everybody is trying to be a f—ing victim,” Rock said. “If everybody claims to be a victim, then nobody will hear the real victims. Even me getting smacked by Suge Smith … I went to work the next day, I got kids.” Just for reference, the “Suge Smith” quip is about Suge Knight, the founder and former CEO of west coast label Death Row Record. Knight has a long-standing reputation for aggressive behavior.
Even though Smith issued a video apology for slapping Rock, the comedian and former Oscar host did not address what was said by Smith. Deadline reported on July 29 that the actor finally broke his silence about his actions and how it affected not only Chris Rock, but his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
“I was fogged out by that point. It is all fuzzy. I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that, he’s not ready to talk. When he is, he will reach out. I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I am here whenever you are ready to talk,” said Smith.
He continued, “I want to apologize to Chris’s mother. I saw an interview [she] did, and that was one of the things I just didn’t realize. I wasn’t thinking, but how many people got hurt in that moment. I want to apologize to Chris’ mother, I want to apologize to Chris’s family, specifically Tony Rock. We had a great relationship. Tony Rock was my man. This is probably irreparable. I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuance and complexity of what happened in that moment. I’m not going to try to unpack all of that right now, but I can say to all of you, there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment. No part of me that thinks that is the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insult.”