Just hours after Will Smith released a surprise apology video to Chris Rock and Co. for the slap heard round the world, the comedian joked about the incident in stand up show without addressing the apology at all.
The comedy show which took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta featured Rock as he makes his return to the stage in some of his first public appearances since the infamous Oscar night in March.
“Everybody is trying to be a f—-ing victim,” Rock said. “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.”
Rock is of course referencing former CEO of Death Row Records, Suge Knight, known not only for his EP credits, but his real life mob boss behavior.
“Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face,” Rock added. And after seeing his post-slap reaction, I’m realizing that I don’t need to have first hand experience to agree.
Smith’s apology video showed the Fresh Prince of Bel Air actor solemn and seemingly sincere as he looked directly into the camera to express his regret.
“I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk,” Smith said.
“I was out of line and I was wrong,” he added. “I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”
“I spent the last three months reclaiming and understanding the nuances and the complexities of what happened in that moment. I’m not gonna try to unpack all of that right now,” the Men in Black star said. “But I can say to all of you, there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment. There’s no part of me that thinks that’s the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect, or insults.”
While it would appear that Rock and Smith have yet to speak man to man about the incident, we do hope there’s room to reconcile in the future.