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Chris Rock’s mom is opening up about the so-called slap heard ’round the world, i.e., the March 27 incident where Will Smith stormed the Academy Awards stage at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles and slapped comedian Rock in the face.
As extensively chronicled, the superstar actor lost his composure when Rock famously or infamously joked about the hairstyle of his wife Jada Pinkett Smith. The Academy subsequently imposed a 10-year ban on Smith attending any of the organization’s events.
To make the situation even more surreal, Smith won the best actor Oscar that night and received a standing ovation from the celebs in attendance during his acceptance speech.
To date, the Academy is not stripping Smith of his award, however.
Mrs. Rock, who was watching the ceremony on TV from home, told “Soda City Live” host Billie Jean Shaw that “When Smith slapped Chris, he slapped all of us, but he really slapped me, because when you hurt my child, you hurt me.”
She went on to say that she has never met Will Smith, although Chris’s brother Tony, also a comedian, has worked with the actor on another project.
When Shaw asked her what she would say to Smith if she had the chance, Mrs. Rock responded in this way:
“I would say…what in the world were you thinking because you did a slap, but so many things could have happened from that. Chris could have stepped back and fallen. You really could have gotten taken out in handcuffs…you didn’t think; you reacted to your wife’s givin’ you the side-eye, and you went up and you made her day because she was bowled-over laughing when it happened.”
(Video: BTM Afrika)
Mrs. Rock admitted that she initially thought it was a staged confrontation “until [Smith] started with the obscenities.”
She also implied that the Academy ban was just a slap (as it were) on the wrist, if at all, but she also doesn’t believe that the Academy should take away Smith’s award. She also noted that removing him from the venue at the time would have been too disruptive.
Shaw recalled that at one point, ironically, the Smiths were boycotting the Oscars (over its lack of diversity).
“I’m really proud of the way Chris handled it,” Mrs. Rock continued, in reference to her son’s composure under the circumstances, while also lamenting the fact that his presenting the best documentary award to musician Questlove became an afterthought. “No one heard his speech; no one was able to just be in the moment because everybody was just sitting there like ‘what just happened?'”
Mrs. Rock also expressed sadness that Will Smith never reached out and personally apologized to Rock directly other than a statement prepared by his publicist.
Separately, Breitbart‘s John Nolte, who has opined in numerous columns on this controversy, wrote the following on March 31:
Everyone likes Will Smith. He’s been a beloved star for 30 years. Few actors in modern history have earned as much audience goodwill. But on [the] basement-rated Oscar telecast, he exposed a dark side, an ugly side, a grotesque sense of entitlement. Like the schoolyard bully, he committed an unprovoked assault on a much smaller man to show the world how tough he is. Well, between the confessions of him being a cuckold and this cowardly assault, also at stake is the public’s opinion of Smith as a man…
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