Chris Rock’s Mom Speaks Out On Will Smith’s Oscars Slap

Chris Rock performs on his Netflix special Tamborine.
(Image credit: Netflix)

It’s been nearly a month since Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage at the Oscars, and the fallout from the situation continues. Many notable names in Hollywood have weighed in at this point, including a handful of members from both the Smith and Rock families. Now, the latest relative to chime in is Rock’s mother, who did not hold back when discussing the polarizing situation. 

Chris Rock’s mom, Rosalie “Rose” Rock, revealed that she was one of the many watching the 94th Academy Awards that night. During her interview with South Carolina’s WIS-TV, the author and motivational speaker explained that she initially believed that Will Smith’s slap was staged until “[WIll] started using obscenities” after returning to his seat. Rock, who’s been to the Oscars with her son numerous times over the years, asserted that “when he slapped Chris, he slapped all of us,” likely referring to the Rock family. She then went on to say, “he really slapped me.” When sharing thoughts on Will Smith’s mindset in the heat of the moment, she said:

You reacted to your wife giving you the side-eye and you went and made her day because she was mulled over laughing when it happened.

Chris Rock took to the stage at the Oscars to present the award for Best Documentary Feature and opened with a few jokes. During that time, the comic quipped that he was looking forward to seeing Jada Pinkett Smith in a G.I. Jane sequel, a reference to the actress’ shaved head. It was shortly after that the King Richard star walked on stage and slapped the comedian. Rock declined to press charges after the incident. 

The winner of the aforementioned Documentary Oscar was Questlove and co. for Summer of Soul. Rose Rock went on to say that her son was excited about the prospect of potentially presenting the honor to the musician. Ultimately, she believes the slap took away from the Tonight Show alum’s moment:

No one even heard his speech. No one was able to just be in the moment because everyone was sitting there like, ‘What just happened?’

The Rock matriarch’s sentiments on the slap somewhat line up with the ones made by her other son, Tony Rock. The actor and comedian stated that the footage “eats at” him and that he takes no pleasure in seeing “a loved one being attacked and there's nothing you can do about it.” Rock also declared that his brother “was no threat to” Will Smith. 

The I Am Legend star apologized to Chris Rock and resigned from the Academy, ahead of being expelled from the institution for 10 years as punishment. Meanwhile, as members of the Rock family open up about the situation, Chris Rock himself has remained relatively quiet. He has, however, joked that he doesn’t plan to talk about it in depth until he’s paid for his Oscars appearance. There’s no telling when that might happen, but what’s apparent right now is that his loved ones are in his corner.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.