Where Chris Rock Reportedly Stands With Will Smith Following The Actor’s Apology For The Oscars Slap

Will Smith and Chris Rock
(Image credit: Warner Bros./Lionsgate)

One of the most memorable moments at the 94th Academy Awards was when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage after the Oscar host told a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s new bald look. Ever since then, there’s been tension between the two entertainers. After Will Smith apologized to Rock for the televised altercation, here is where the stand-up comedian reportedly stands.

Will Smith broke his silence recently by posting a video on Instagram answering questions about the controversial moment. When asked why he didn’t apologize to Chris Rock during his Oscar acceptance speech, he said he was “fogged out” at that point. He made sure to reach out to the Grown Ups actor by calling his act of slapping him “unacceptable” and is ready to talk to him when the comedian is ready. According to Entertainment Tonight, a source said that Rock reportedly has no interest in speaking to Smith. The source also felt that the timing of the apology is more in the actor’s best interest and that it is more important for the public to forgive him than Rock, with the quote specifically reading:

He needs the public’s forgiveness, not Chris

This wouldn’t be the first time that the I, Robot actor has tried to apologize for his actions at the Oscars. A day after the Oscars, Will Smith did publicly apologize to Chris Rock for his actions being “out of line” and “wrong”, stating “there is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.” In the newest video Smith put out about his need for forgiveness, he made sure to apologize to Rock’s mother after seeing her speak out about seeing her son slapped. Smith also apologized to the Saturday Night Live alum’s brother, who had said before the incident “eats at” him. 

Chris Rock may not have spoken to Will Smith about what happened between them, but he has referenced the issue in a way that makes sense for him: through comedy. When it first happened, Rock did not want to open up about the slap immediately as he was still processing the situation. Then, when performing at a sold-out show in Baltimore, he briefly addressed the incident by saying he’s alright and “healed from the nicks and bruises” only to go through the entire show without talking more about it. 

Not too long after, the 57-year-old comedian dropped a one-liner about Will Smith after Dave Chapelle was attacked on stage. The Grammy winner addressed the slap again during a recent comedy show about how being punched in the face hurts worse than words. So compared to sharing a long reaction about how he felt about getting slapped by the Oscar winner, Chris Rock would just prefer to let his jokes speak for themselves.

Like Chris Rock has said in his stand-up act, he refuses to be a victim through all of this. He’s been keeping himself busy on tour and continuing to make people laugh. Will Smith, on the other hand, has had to face the consequences of his actions like resigning from the Academy, two of his upcoming movies receiving setbacks, and punishment by the Academy by being banned from attending any Oscar events or programs for ten years. His upcoming movie Emancipation has a release date and is expected to come to Apple TV+ in 2023. 

Chris Rock may not be ready to speak to Will Smith about what happened at this year’s Oscars, but it looks like this stand-up comic is moving on and focusing on his comedy tour. In the meantime, you can follow the 2022 movie release dates so you know what film to add to your watchlist.

Carly Levy
Entertainment Writer

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.