Chris Rock finally breaks silence over Will Smith slapping him at the Oscars

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Photo credit: NBC                                  - Getty Images
Photo credit: NBC - Getty Images

Back in March of this year, we all bore witness to one of pop culture's most shocking moments for quite some time: Will Smith charging up on stage during the Oscars to slap host Chris Rock, after he made a (let's be honest) unnecessary joke about Jada Pinkett Smith having alopecia. After returning to his seat, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star then continued to shout abuse at Chris on stage, saying, "Keep my wife's name out your f*cking mouth!".

Following the slap, Chris Rock remained relatively tight-lipped about the whole incident (bar joking on-stage "Will Smith just slapped the sh*t out of me!" before swiftly carrying on with his hosting duties). However, last weekend, when he performed at the Only Headliners Allowed comedy tour in New York, it appears the comedian used what happened as a a springboard for some of his material.

As per ET Online, sources have reported that Chris added in a "joke about Will during a bit about 'cancel culture', joking that 'anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face'."

It's said that during his Sunday show, Chris also seemed to downplay the whole incident, referring to it as the equivalent of a 'paper cut' and made a gag about the way he handled the whole thing (which in fairness, was pretty well – he got straight back to work following Will's stage invasion and continued to host without so much as a stumble over his words).

Photo credit: Getty Images
Photo credit: Getty Images

According to US Magazine, Chris also remarked, "I'm not a victim, motherf*cker. But I shook that sh*t off and went to work the next day" in reference to the fact he performed at another stand-up gig at the height of all the memes, think pieces and beyond post-slap.

"I don’t go to the hospital for a paper cut," he added.

After the incident, Will Smith posted a lengthy apology to Instagram and appeared remorseful for his actions, saying he was working on becoming a better man. "Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive," he began. "My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada's medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.

"I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. 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 am a work in progress."

Will has not posted to Instagram since his apology statement.

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