It was the slap heard around the world. After Will Smith hit Chris Rock at the Oscars, it seemed like everyone had a take on the event. For a while, Rock refused to talk about the hit, but now it seems like he’s beginning to open up.
In a recent standup set at PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey, Chris Rock talked about his side of the slap story. He emphasized that he didn’t want to be considered a victim, but that the slap did indeed hurt.
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“Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face,” Rock said. He then added, “I’m not a victim. Yeah, that shit hurt, motherfucker. But I shook that shit off and went to work the next day. I don’t go to the hospital for a paper cut.” Rock has been performing alongside Kevin Hart, and the two were recently joined in New York by Dave Chappelle.
Rock had been doing a solo tour right after the Oscars, which immediately sold out after Smith’s slap. But at that time, Rock wasn’t ready to talk about the event. “I don’t have a bunch of shit about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend,” he said at his first show since the slap. “I’m still kind of processing what happened. So, at some point I’ll talk about that shit. And it will be serious and funny.”
Will Smith has also discussed the slap. He resigned from the Academy, and said in a statement, “The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home. I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken.”