Chris Rock Breaks His Silence About Will Smith Slapping Him at the Oscars

"Whoa."
IMAGE BOSTON GLOBE

Chris Rock gave his first official response since Will Smith slapped him at the Academy Awards on Sunday night, and the response is "Whoa."

"Whoa, okay," Rock said upon entering the stage to thundering applause from the sold-out audience at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts. (Who knows how many people in attendance purchased their tickets for jacked-up prices in the 72 hours that have elapsed since the slap heard 'round the world.) Dressed in an all-white suit, Rock pleaded with the audience to quiet down. "Yo, let me do the show."

But first, the elephant in the room. "How was your weekend?" Rock joked, eliciting rowdy laughter from the crowd. "I don't have a bunch of shit about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend. I'm still kind of processing what happened. So, at some point, I'll talk about that shit. And it will be serious and funny."

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In the meantime, there are plenty of other updates and responses to digest. Shortly before Rock kicked off his "Ego Death" world tour at the Wilbur, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced "disciplinary proceedings" against Smith, revealing that the actor was asked to leave the show after slapping Rock but refused to cooperate. Less than an hour after hitting Rock, Smith won and accepted the Best Actor award for his portrayal of Richard Williams, the father of tennis phenomenons Venus and Serena Williams, in the film King Richard.

Rock declined to press charges so far, but if his response at The Wilbur is any indication, he seems to be reserving the right to make jokes about the incident in the future, which only seems fair if you ask us.

FromEsquire US

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Abigail Covington
Abigail Covington is a journalist and cultural critic based in Brooklyn, New York but originally from North Carolina, whose work has appeared in Slate, The Nation, Oxford American, and Pitchfork.
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