Comedian Chris Rock’s mom, Rose, has broken her silence about the infamous Oscars slap incident, making it clear that she was proud of how her son handled the tense moment and the aftermath.
Rose Rock, a motivational speaker and author, addressed how it felt for her to see actor Will Smith slap her son on the Oscar’s stage where Chris was presenting an award.
“When he slapped Chris, he slapped all of us. He really slapped me,” she said. “Because when you hurt my child, you hurt me.”
Rose, who has been her son’s Academy Awards date on occasion, told WIS-TV that she first thought that the incident was staged, but realized it wasn’t when Smith started yelling obscenities at Rock.
“You reacted to your wife giving you the side-eye, and you went and made her day,” Rose said of Will.
The incident took place when Chris Rock was on stage to present the award for Best Documentary Feature. After throwing some light-hearted jabs at some of the actors in the crowd, his attention turned to Jada Pinkett Smith who has been open about her struggle with alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that leads to hair loss.
“Jada, I love you. G.I. Jane 2…can’t wait to see it,” Rock said to Pinkett Smith who laughed at first before getting aggravated by the joke.
Will Smith, after seeing his wife’s reaction, made his way to the stage where he slapped Rock across the face. When Smith returned to his seat he yelled at Rock saying, “Keep my wife’s name out of your ****ing mouth!”
Smith issued a public apology the day after the slap and called his behavior “unacceptable” and “inexcusable.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. 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,” Will wrote.
“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,” the actor said before extending his apology to the Academy and all who witnessed his outburst.
“I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.”
The incident resulted in Smith resigning from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and accepted a 10 year ban from attending any of the academy’s events.