Chris Rock had his first comedy show since getting a public apology from Will Smith for receiving a slap from him in 2022 Oscars. During the show at the Fox Theater in Atlanta, he told a few jokes about the experience according to People.com.
“Everyone is trying to be a victim,” Rock said. “If everyone pretends to be a victim, then no one will hear from the real victims. Even I was getting slammed by Suge Smith…I went to work the next day, I have kids. Just for reference, the “Suge Smith” quip is about Suge Knight, the founder and former CEO of West Coast label Death Row Record. Knight has a long-standing reputation for aggressive behavior.
Even though Smith released a video apology for slapping Rock, the comedian and former Oscar host did not respond to what Smith said. Deadline reported July 29 that the actor finally broke his silence about his actions and how it affected not only Chris Rock, but his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
“I was foggy at that time. Everything is blurry. I contacted Chris and the message that came back is that he is not ready to talk. When he is, he will stretch out his hand. I’ll tell you, Chris, I’m sorry. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk,” Smith said.
He continued: “I want to apologize to Chris’ mum. I saw an interview [she] did, and that was one of the things that I just didn’t realize. I did not think, but how many people were injured at that time. I want to apologize to Chris’ mom, I want to apologize to Chris’ family, especially Tony Rock. We had a great relationship. Tony Rock was my man. It’s probably irreparable. I’ve spent the past three months replaying and understanding the nuance and complexity of what happened in that moment. I’m not going to try to unpack all of that right now, but I can tell you all that there’s no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave at the time. No part of me thinks that’s the best way to deal with feeling disrespected or insulted.