Chris Rock is channeling his headline-making 2022 Oscars incident with Will Smith into comedy.
The comedian performed a standup set at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Thursday (May 12), where he briefly joked about the moment Smith slapped him across the face onstage at the Academy Awards ceremony in March. “I’m okay, if anybody was wondering,” Rock said, according to The Telegraph. “Got most of my hearing back.”
“Don’t expect me to talk about the bulls—. I’ll talk about it at some point … on Netflix,” he reportedly said, before jokingly adding, “Your tickets were expensive, but not that expensive.”
The slap occurred after Rock poked fun at Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. “Jada, I love you, G.I Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,” the comedian said, seemingly referring to the actress’ struggles with alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss. Pinkett Smith has openly talked about having the condition since 2018.
After his wife rolled her eyes at the joke, Smith then stormed the stage to slap Rock, who was visibly shaken after. Rock attempted to continue his initially planned banter, but the King Richard actor reiterated his point once he sat down and told the comedian to “keep my wife’s name out your f—ing mouth.”
Smith, who apologized for his behavior to Academy members and his fellow nominees during his Oscars best actor win for King Richard, and subsequently directly to Rock in a social media statement, announced his resignation from the Academy on April 1, referencing his “shocking, painful and inexcusable” actions in a letter to the organization.