Chris Rock: ‘I Am Not a Victim’ After Being Slapped by Will Smith but ‘That Sh*t Hurt’

"Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face," Rock joked onstage. "But I shook that shit off."
Chris Rock, 2022 Oscars
Chris Rock

As the old saying goes, sticks and stones have nothing against Chris Rock.

The comedian addressed the infamous Oscars slap by Will Smith during a recent stand-up set at the PNC Bank Arts Center in Holmdel, New Jersey as part of his tour with Kevin Hart.

“Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face,” Rock said onstage (via US Weekly). “I’m not a victim. 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.”

Best Actor winner Smith assaulted Rock during the 2022 Academy Awards following Rock’s quip that Jada Pinkett Smith was ready for a role in “G.I. Jane 2” with her haircut. Pinkett Smith had been previously diagnosed with alopecia, a hair loss condition. Smith later apologized to both the Academy and presenter Rock in an Instagram statement and subsequently was banned from attending the Oscars for the next decade.

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.

Pinkett Smith addressed the slap during the June 1 episode of web series “Red Table Talk.”

“My deepest hope is that these two intelligent, capable men have an opportunity to heal, talk this out, and reconcile,” Pinkett Smith said of her husband and Rock. “The state of the world today, we need them both. And we all actually need one another more than ever. Until then, Will and I are continuing to do what we have done for the last 28 years, and that’s keep figuring out this thing called life together.”

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