On March 27, pop culture enthusiasts gathered around their TVs to tune in to the 94th Annual Academy Awards. While the show delivered incredible moments like Beyoncé’s “Be Alive” performance and Ariana DeBose’s Best Supporting Actress win, it also included the infamous “Oscar smash” between Will Smith and Chris Rock. Since that fateful day, the shocking incident has remained in the news cycle due to various new developments.
On July 29, the I Am Legend actor released a formal apology to the comedian in a video statement on YouTube. “Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk,” he said. “There’s no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment.”
While Smith has opened up about the slap on various public platforms, Rock has remained relatively low-key about his feelings, aside from his occasional jokes. “Anyone who says hurt words has never been slapped in the face,” he reportedly said during a comedy performance in New Jersey (via Us Weekly). However, on Sept. 2, the “Everybody Hates Chris” star finally broke his silence on the incident and let’s just say he’s not holding back.
Chris Rock says Will Smith is ‘as ugly as the rest of us’
After nearly seven months since the infamous “Oscar smash,” Chris Rock has finally spoken out about the incident and Will Smith. According to the Daily Mail, the “Madagascar” star broke her silence while performing standup alongside Dave Chappelle. When The Chappelle Show star asked if the slap “hurts,” Rock was quick to reply. “Damn right… the motherf***er hit me over a bulls**t joke, the nicest joke I’ve ever told,” Rock said. “Will gave the impression of being the perfect human being for 30 years, and he ripped off his mask and showed us he was just as ugly as the rest of us.” Towards the end of his game, Rock said he hoped Smith “didn’t take off his mask sits down again,” before saying he sees himself in “both men.”
The “Oscar slap” controversy undoubtedly shaped the two beloved actors and their future at the Academy Awards. As a result of his shocking actions, Smith resigned from his position at the academy on April 1, according to CNN. Smith was also given a 10-year ban from all Oscars-related events. As for Rock, the comedian revealed during a comedy show in Phoenix that he turned down an offer to host the 2023 Academy Awards. As he fleshed out his decision, he made a controversial joke in which he said returning would be like OJ Simpson’s ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson going “back to the restaurant” before eventually being killed (via AZ center).