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Chris Rock: Will Smith Slapped Me for the ‘Nicest Joke I Ever Told’

"The motherf***er hit me over a bulls**t joke," Rock said of the viral 2022 Oscars slap.

Chris Rock and Will Smith at the ArcLight Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, California (Photo by Lee Celano/WireImage)

Chris Rock and Will Smith at the “Hustle and Flow” premiere in 2005


Chris Rock is reflecting on Will Smith’s Oscars slap in his new European stand-up tour alongside Dave Chappelle.

Rock joked while at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool, England that Smith attacked him onstage earlier this year for a “bullshit joke” about wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s hairstyle.

“Did that shit hurt?” Rock asked the audience (via Deadline). “Goddam right. The motherfucker hit me over a bullshit joke, the nicest joke I ever told.”

Rock added that he returned to work the day after the 2022 Academy Awards and that he does not consider himself to be a victim.

Chappelle, who was also assaulted onstage earlier this year, called Smith attacking Rock a “very strange choice” for the “King Richard” Best Actor winner to make. Chappelle added that longtime friend Smith apparently “did an impression of a perfect man for 30 years” whereas Rock has always been authentic.

“I just hope he doesn’t put that mask back on,” Chappelle said of Smith.

Rock first spoke out about the experience during the first stop of his sold-out comedy tour, starting at the Wilbur in Boston just five days after the Academy Awards.

“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, and I’m still kind of processing what happened,” Rock said at the time. “So at some point I’ll talk about that shit. And it’ll be serious, and it’ll be funny.”

Rock later joked he “got smacked by the softest n—- that ever rapped,” referencing Smith.

“I’m not a victim,” Rock said. “Yeah, that shit hurt, motherfucker. But I shook that shit off and went to work the next day. I don’t go to the hospital for a paper cut.”

Smith apologized for slapping Rock, calling the whole evening “fuzzy” in his memory. “I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is he’s not ready to talk and when he is, he will reach out,” Smith said in a social media video. “So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science has since banned Smith from attending the Oscars for a decade. Rock recently revealed he turned down hosting the 2023 Oscars.

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