Not backing down. Chris Rock rejected Will Smith’s apology video…again. The former Saturday Night Live cast member took to the stage in the U.K. with Dave Chapelle and he confessed what he truly thought of Will Smith.
During his show at Liverpool’s M&S Arena with Chapelle, he revealed what occurred at the moment. “Did that s—t hurt?” Chapelle asked. “Goddamn right … the motherf–ker hit me over a bulls–t joke, the nicest joke I ever told,” Rock replied. “Will did the impression of a perfect person for 30 years, and he ripped his mask off and showed us he was as ugly as the rest of us. Whatever the consequences are … I hope he doesn’t put his mask back on again and lets his real face breathe. I see myself in both men.”
The comment comes a month after Will posted his apology video on July 29, 2022, the first time he spoke about the incident since he was banned from the Academy of Motion Pictures. “I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk and when he is, he will reach out,” Smith said in the video. “So I will I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable.“I want to apologize to Chris’s mother,” he continued. “I saw an interview that Chris’s mother did. And that was one of the things about that moment I just didn’t realize. I wasn’t thinking but how many people got hurt in that moment. So I want to apologize to Chris’s mother. I want to apologize to Chris’s family. Specifically Tony Rock We had a great relationship. Tony Rock was my man. And this is probably irreparable.” He continued, “I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the complexities and nuances of what happened. I’m not gonna try to unpack all of that right now but I can say to you, there was no part of me that thought that was the right way to behave in that moment.”
Rock also commented on the apology right after it was posted. “Everybody is trying to be a f*cking victim. If everybody claims to be a victim, then nobody will hear the real victims,” Chris said during his comedy set. “Even me getting smacked by Suge Smith. I went to work the next day, I got kids. Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face.”
The infamous Oscars slap took place at the 94th Academy Awards on March 27, 2022, after Chris made a joke about Will’s wife Jada Pinkett-Smith. In an open letter, the Academy announced, “The Board has decided, for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards.” The Academy apologized to Rock, the rest of the Academy and the public for the moment: “We want to express our deep gratitude to Mr. Rock for maintaining his composure under extraordinary circumstances. We also want to thank our hosts, nominees, presenters and winners for their poise and grace during our telecast.” Smith accepted the ban as he previously resigned from The Academy on April 1, 2022.
For more about Will Smith, read his memoir, Will. The book, which was number one on The New York Times bestseller list, takes readers through Smith’s life, from his childhood in West Philadelphia and early rap career to his rise as one of Hollywood’s biggest movie stars. The autobiography—which Oprah Winfrey described as “the best memoir I’ve ever read”—also explores a side of Smith’s life he’s never told before. “Will is the story of how one person mastered his own emotions, written in a way that can help everyone else do the same,” the publisher’s description of the book reads. “Few of us will know the pressure of performing on the world’s biggest stages for the highest of stakes, but we can all understand that the fuel that works for one stage of our journey might have to be changed if we want to make it all the way home.”
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