Rock found himself the target of Smith’s open palm after making an off-the-cuff joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald appearance being reminiscent of the fictional movie character G.I. Jane. While Smith initially laughed at the joke, it is speculated that his actions were a byproduct of his wife’s displeasure with Rick making her a punch line. Something Rose, and countless others, disagree with.
“You reacted to your wife giving you the side-eye and you went and made her day because she was mulled over laughing when it happened,” Rock said in an interview with Columbia, South Carolina, TV station WIS last week. She continued, “When he slapped Chris, he slapped all of us. He really slapped me because when you hurt my child, you hurt me.”
Rock, who has been tapped as an Oscar host in the past, was there to present the award for best documentary feature. The award was won by musician and “Roots” drummer Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson for “Summer of Soul.”
“No one even heard his speech,” added the Rock matriarch. “No one was able to just be in the moment because everyone was sitting there like, ‘what just happened?’” Moments later Smith was awarded his first Oscar for best actor in “King Richard.” He used the moment in part to apologize to those in attendance for his actions — but not the comedian. He would later issue a statement on social media where ultimately apologized to Rock.
But, according to Rose and Rock’s brothers Tony and Kenny, the “Down to Earth” actor has yet to hear directly from Smith. “I feel really bad that he never apologized,” Rock said. “I mean his people wrote up a piece saying I apologize to Chris Rock, but you see something like that is personal, you reach out.”
As a consequence for his misconduct, Smith was banned from all Academy events including the Oscars for the next ten years. He was allowed to retain his Oscar, a decision that has further sparked division. But for Rose, the gold statuette is the least of her concerns.
“I wouldn’t take his award away, and I don’t see any good way they could have taken him out without disrupting.” Smith has laid low in the aftermath of the incident, only having been spotted once after arriving in India the weekend of April 23. Rock, however, has been on tour, where he has largely been mum on the matter.