Chris Rock has first opened up about the infamous Oscar slap he received from Will Smith, in workshop material for his upcoming live Netflix special.
In a January set in Charleston, South Carolina in preparation for his upcoming Netflix special Selective Outrage, The Wall Street Journal reported that Rock, 58, spoke about the incident dominating the evening’s talk.
He said, ‘What people want to know. . . did it hurt? Hell yes, it hurt;’ Rock also referenced their respective roles in the 2001 Smith film Ali and his 1991 film New Jack City: “He played Muhammad Ali! I played Pookie!’
Rock added, according The American sun“Even in animated movies I’m a zebra, he loves shark.”
Rock referenced one of Smith’s rap tracks, saying, “I got hit so hard I could hear Summertime ringing in my ears.”
The latest: Chris Rock, 58, has first opened up about the infamous Oscars slap he received from Will Smith, 54. The two were seen at the ceremony in LA on March 27, 2022
The special will air live from Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theater on the streaming service on March 4, a week before the Academy Awards air on March 13 this year.
The Oscars exchange between Smith and Rock occurred after Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head, saying, “Jada, I love you, GI Jane 2, can’t wait to see it!”
The reference was to the 1997 film in which Demi Moore had a shaved head. (Pinkett Smith, 51, has been diagnosed with alopecia, which causes hair loss.)
The Philadelphia-born actor then walked onstage and punched Rock, then went back to his seat and yelled at him twice, “Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth!” to a stunned audience.
Later that evening — in his acceptance speech after winning the Best Actor Oscar for his role as tennis patriarch Richard Williams in King Richard — Smith apologized to the Academy and other nominees, but made no reference to Rock.
Smith subsequently apologized for the incident on multiple occasions and resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences before receiving a 10-year ban from the Oscars.
In an apology he made in July about the incident in an online clip, Smith said his wife had “nothing to do with” his attack on Rock.
“I made my own choice from my own experiences, from my history with Chris,” he said. “I want to say sorry to my children and my family for the heat I have caused us all. I have contacted Chris and the message that came back is that he is not ready to talk, and when he is he will reach out. So I’ll say to you, Chris, I apologize. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here if you want to talk.’
Shot in NYC in January, Rock finally covers the incident at length in the special
Rock will talk about the infamous awards show in his new Netflix special Selective Outrage
He referred to their respective roles in the 2001 Smith film Ali and his 1991 film New Jack City: “He played Muhammad Ali! I played Pookie!’
Smith made international headlines for his outburst at the comedian at the event at the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, California
The Oscars exchange between Smith and Rock happened after Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head
Smith subsequently apologized multiple times for the incident and resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences before receiving a 10-year ban from the Oscars.
Last month, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced that it had established a crisis team ahead of the March 12 ceremony this year.
“Because of last year, we opened our minds to the many things that can happen at the Oscars,” said Academy CEO Bill Kramer. TIME.
Kramer said the institution has implemented the organization of a group focused on dealing with emergencies during the annual event.
He said: ‘We have a whole crisis team, something we’ve never had before, and there are a lot of plans. We ran many scenarios. So it’s our hope that we’ll be prepared for anything that we may not be anticipating right now, but that we plan in case it does happen.”
Kramer said the return of Jimmy Kimmel as host – the late night star who previously appeared in 2017 and 2018 – adds an extra layer of protection by having an accomplished entertainer at the helm of the show.
“That’s why you want someone like Jimmy on stage who’s used to dealing with live TV: things don’t always go as planned,” Kramer said. “So you have a host who can really pivot and manage those moments…because of last year, we opened our minds to the many things that can happen at the Oscars.”
Kramer said Academy officials could have “acted more quickly” in their responses to the incident involving Smith and Rock, both on the night of the show and in the aftermath.
“This is really our response after the show, and how we talked about it, and how we talked to Will and Chris, and our hosts and our members,” he said. “It was a moment to really bring people together.”
Smith apologized to the Academy and other nominees in his acceptance speech, but made no reference to Rock
An emotional Smith fought back tears as he accepted his Best Actor Oscar for King Richard
Academy officials have implemented a new team to deal with crisis situations. A large Oscar statue was on display at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills last month when the nominations were announced
The return of Jimmy Kimmel as host — the late-night star previously seen in 2017 and 2018 (pictured) — adds an extra layer of protection by having an accomplished entertainer at the helm of the show, according to the Academy.