Chris Rock addresses Will Smith Oscars slap: 'I'm not a victim'


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Will Smith (right) hits Chris Rock as Rock spoke on stage during the 94th Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, US, March 27, 2022. Photo: Reuters

Comedian Chris Rock has made his most direct response yet to the infamous slap he received from actor Will Smith at the Oscars award ceremony in March.

At a stand-up show on Sunday (July 24) in New Jersey with fellow comedian Kevin Hart, Rock said: "I'm not a victim."

According to a report on entertainment portal Us Weekly, which quoted an audience member at the show, Rock, 57, said: "Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face."

He added that it hurt but he shook it off and went to work the next day, saying: "I don't go to the hospital for a paper cut."

At the Oscars, which was televised live, Smith, 53, had gone on stage and hit Rock after Rock had cracked a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, 50, who has alopecia and appeared with a shaved head.

Will Smith later made a public apology and resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He has been banned from attending its ceremonies for 10 years.

Since the assault, Rock - who declined to press charges - has referenced the incident in brief jokes at stand-up shows, but has yet to address it at length.

At Hart and Rock's show last Saturday at Madison Square Garden in New York, Hart, 43, surprised Rock with the gift of a goat, which is a nod to G.O.A.T., meaning greatest of all time.

Controversial comedian Dave Chappelle, 48, also made a surprise appearance and asked: "What are you gonna name this goat, Chris?"

Hart said: "The name is Will Smith." – The Straits Times/Asia News Network

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