It’s been four months since arguably the most shocking moment in Oscars history, when Will Smith slapped presenter Chris Rock on live television…and then won an Academy Award about 20 minutes later. Since then Rock has largely stayed quiet about the incident. At stand-up shows, he’s even admitted he was still working on how to address it. Now he’s baby-stepping into adding it to his act.
As per Deadline, Rock made some little jokes about the incident at a show on Friday, slipping a reference to it in the middle of a bit about victimization.
“Everybody is trying to be a f*cking victim,” Rock told the crowd. “If everybody claims to be a victim, then nobody will hear the real victims. Even me getting smacked by Suge Smith … I went to work the next day, I got kids.” (The “Suge” is a reference to Suge Knight, the infamous founder of the game-changing rap label Death Row Records, currently serving a 28-year sentence for a fatal hit-and-run.)
Rock later tipped his hat to the slap again, cracking, “Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face.”
Rock’s set happened to come the same day Smith dropped a lengthy apology video. “I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that, he’s not ready to talk. When he is, he will reach out,” Smith said. “I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I am here whenever you are ready to talk.”