Chris Rock, 57, once again spoke out about Will Smith‘s infamous slap at the 2022 Academy Awards. The comedian reportedly said the actor hit him over “the nicest joke” he’s ever told, during a show on his and Dave Chappelle‘s co-headlining European tour on Sept. 2. “Did that s–t hurt? Goddamn right,” he said, according to ET. “The motherf*cker hit me over a bulls*t joke, the nicest joke I ever told!”
Chris was referencing the joke he made about Will’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith, who suffers from alopecia, and her shaved head. “Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,” he said on the Oscars stage before Will got up and slapped him with an open hand. After returning to his seat, the former Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star shouted, “Leave my wife’s name out of your f*king mouth.”
Since the shocking incident happened, Chris has spoken about it briefly at various comedy shows and Will issued a public apology to Chris and his family after stepping away for a few months. “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,” Will said in the YouTube video. “So I will I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable.”
Chris also revealed that he was offered a chance to host the 2023 Academy Awards, but declined. He reportedly compared the offer to returning to the scene of a crime and particularly mentioned the O.J. Simpson murder case. He apparently explained him going back on the Oscars stage would be like asking the late Nicole Brown Simpson “to go back to the restaurant” where she left a pair of eyeglasses the night of her death.
Will’s actions toward Chris resulted in him being banned from attending the Oscars for the next 10 years. “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision,” Will said in a statement shortly after the ban was announced. “My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable. The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home. I betrayed the trust of the Academy.”