Chris Rock sets record straight on Will Smith Oscars slap: ‘I’m not a victim’

Chris Rock sets record straight on Will Smith Oscars slap: ‘I’m not a victim’

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After remaining mostly silent for months, Chris Rock has finally spoken out about the shocking moment he was slapped on stage by Will Smith at the Oscars.

During the 94th Academy Awards on March 27, 2022, Smith walked onstage and slapped presenter and comedian Chris Rock after Rock made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head with a reference to the main protagonist in the film G.I. Jane.

Smith then returned to his seat and yelled to Rock, twice, saying “Keep my wife’s name out your fucking mouth!” Pinkett Smith had been diagnosed with alopecia areata in 2018 and would later shave her head due to the condition.

Later in the night, Smith was named Best Actor for King Richard and apologized to the Academy of Motion Pictures and the other nominees, but not to Rock, in his acceptance speech. Following public backlash, Smith issued a formal apology.

ABC, The Academy, and the Screen Actors Guild condemned Smith following the incident, prompting an investigation by the Academy’s Board of Governors. Rock declined to press charges against Smith, according to the Los Angeles Police Department. On April 1, 2022, Smith tendered his resignation from the Academy, writing in part:

I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken. I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film.

So, I am resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate.

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