Several months ago, whether anyone watched the 2022 Oscars or not, heard what became known as “the slap heard around the world.” During the coveted awards show, American award-winning actor Will Smith broke headlines after he approached actor and comedian Chris Rock on stage and slapped him across the face. Now, after the debacle has (mostly) faded from recent memory, the longtime comic has finally spoken out about the confrontation.
Chris Rock appeared on stage for a performance alongside fellow comics Kevin Hart and Dave Chappelle at Madison Square Garden on Sunday. During the event, Chris Rock said, “Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face.”
The comment was what the Daily Mail called a “not-so-subtle” reference to Chris Rock and Will Smith’s onstage confrontation at the Oscars earlier this year. At the time, Rock made a joke about the Fresh Prince icon’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
Kevin Hart Speaks Out About the Oscars Slap
During the event, Chris Rock’s friend and fellow performer, Kevin Hart, built on the joke, presenting The Week Of actor with a goat on stage. In speaking about the odd gift, Hart explained, “I told Dave [Chappelle], I said, ‘Hey man, I’m gonna gift Chris [Rock] a goat at the end of the show. He said, ‘What do you mean?’ I said ‘what do you mean, ‘what do I mean?’ I’m gonna go get a goat.'”
In bringing the brown-and-white splotched goat on stage, The Man From Toronto star revealed he’d name the animal Will Smith.
Of Chris Rock, Kevin Hart said, “Chris is a mentor, friend, inspiration, but he’s a large part of the reason I am where I am today in my career, just from his advice, his insight, et cetera, and he’s my GOAT.”
While recalling the confrontation between his friend and Will Smith, Hart said, “Will is apologetic, you know, he’s in a better place, of course, than what he was after.” The jokester further said that Smith is ready to “move forward.”
As per the news outlet, Will Smith hasn’t spoken out about his confrontation with Chris Rock since immediately after the on-air incident occurred.
Dave Chappelle Asked to Relocate Performance With Chris Rock and Kevin Hart Following Controversy
Opening for Chris Rock and Kevin Hart during their Sunday performance in New York City was fellow stand-up Dave Chappelle. Chappelle broke headlines of his own several months ago when, during a Netflix comedy event, he was suddenly attacked on stage. Now, he’s again attracting public attention after the Daily Mail reports Chris Rock’s Sunday night venue asked Chappelle to relocate his performance following backlash from residents. He further addressed the onstage attack that took place in May.