Kevin Hart Was Asked About Bringing Up The Will Smith Slap In His Stand-Up. He Shared His Real Feelings On What Happened And What's Next

Will Smith in King Richard, Kevin Hart in The Man from Toronto, and Chris Rock in Amsterdam, pictured side by side.
(Image credit: Warner Bros/SPE/20th Century Studios)

Will Smith and Chris Rock’s Oscar slap is the story that continues to make the rounds. Recently, Dame Judi Dench recalled her thoughts on how the entire debacle seemed like a joke at first to the attendees of the Academy Award. While the reality of the moment is well reported by this point, this conversation starter still has people talking. After being asked about why he brought up Smith in his recent stand-up tour, actor Kevin Hart shared his real feelings about what happened, and the aftermath that has followed.

Kevin Hart in The Man from Toronto

(Image credit: Netflix)

Kevin Hart’s Feelings On The Chris Rock/Will Smith Slap

Speaking with ET on the carpet for the premiere of the upcoming movie DC’s League of Superpets, Hart was subdued but upbeat about his latest film with co-star/frequent roaster Dwayne Johnson. Using his recent “Reality Check” standup tour as a segue, Kevin Hart was asked if he had talked to Will Smith post-slap. The comedian confirmed that he had, and revealed these feelings about the matter:

Will is apologetic. He’s in a better space than what he was after. People are human and as humans sometimes, we make mistakes. It’s not about talking about the past, it’s about acknowledging the present and doing your best to move forward. I can only hope the two of them find a way to find some solace in that and move past it. I just like good energy. I love to see people be their best. I still love him, I love Chris. You can’t judge a person by one thing. Ultimately life goes on and people grow. So give him the opportunity to do so.

Clearly, the actor is looking for the peace and love in the situation, which ties in with feelings Kevin Hart has expressed about cancel culture in the past. It's particularly true as he’s still seemingly friendly with both Chris Rock and Will Smith after their infamous brawl at the 94th Academy Awards

Given he says he "loves" both of them, his comment may have some wondering just what Hart could have said during a stand-up gig that would joke about the subject? In fact, however, Hart’s neutrality was more or less maintained throughout his act.

Kevin Hart in Night School

(Image credit: HartBeat Productions)

What Kevin Hart Said About The Slap During His Stand-up Gig

Paying a visit to the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, one of Kevin Hart’s tour stops was attended by an eyewitness who spoke to Us Magazine. Reporting that Hart did mention the slap in his act, it was also noted that the main thrust of the material was that “Will Smith didn’t plan that shit.” The context for that repeated remark was how people have been acting in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Kevin Hart’s mention that Will Smith is “in a better space” is certainly a promising sign. As this year’s Oscar winner for Best Actor has been trying to straighten his life out, Smith’s supposed “spiritual journey” seems to be working out as planned. His comedy act may involve material pertaining to his friend’s unplanned actions, but it’s getting to a point where a bunch of comedians feel comfortable to start working Chris Rock and Will Smith’s big night into their acts. So if you thought this subject was going away any time soon, you may want to hold off on those hopes. 

In addition to his current “Reality Check” tour, you can catch Kevin Hart as part of the voice cast of DC’s League of Super-Pets. The upcoming DC movie opens on July 29th, only in theaters. 

Mike Reyes
Senior Movies Contributor

Mike Reyes is the Senior Movie Contributor at CinemaBlend, though that title’s more of a guideline really. Passionate about entertainment since grade school, the movies have always held a special place in his life, which explains his current occupation. Mike graduated from Drew University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science, but swore off of running for public office a long time ago. Mike's expertise ranges from James Bond to everything Alita, making for a brilliantly eclectic resume. He fights for the user.