Chris Rock’s mother Rose Rock is ready to talk about the altercation between her son and Will Smith at the 2022 Oscars.
Rock spoke to NBC affiliate WIS in Columbia, South Carolina when she was in town to give a motivational speech to high schools across the city. During the interview, she spoke out about the incident during the broadcast where Smith slapped Rock after he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head.
“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 to WIS’ Billie Jean Shaw.
Rock was watching the Oscars at home, she said. At first, she assumed that the slap was staged and planned ahead of time until the censors kicked in and Smith began swearing at her son.
“When he slapped Chris, he slapped all of us,” she said, later adding, “He really slapped me.”
After the tense moment was over and Rock went back to presenting the award for best documentary feature, Rock said that she felt that the only thing she could do was reach out to her son and tell him that she was proud of how he handled the situation.
The matriarch of the Rock family and mother of seven is not the only member of the family to react to the incident. Rock’s younger brother, Tony Rock, referenced the altercation on many occasions, including a series of Twitter replies to fans, one of which he said he didn’t approve of Smith’s Instagram apology.
Earlier this month, Tony Rock also slammed Smith during an expletive-laden bit during his comedy show, at one point saying, “If you think you gonna to walk up on this stage, this ain’t the motherf–––king Oscars!”
In the weeks since the Oscars, Rock has yet to release a statement or speak out publicly in detail about the events of the evening.
There were reports that at one of his comedy shows, he stopped a heckler from shouting profanities about Smith. The 57-year-old comedian also briefly addressed the incident days after the award show during a pre-scheduled comedy show, first by asking fans how their weekend went.
“I don’t have a bunch of s--- about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend,” he explained. “I’m still kind of processing what happened. So, at some point I’ll talk about that s---. And it will be serious and funny.”
On April 1, Smith announced that he would resign from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in a lengthy statement. His resignation was confirmed by David Rubin, president of the Academy, in a statement to NBC News.
The following week, the board of governors for the academy announced that Smith would be banned from attending the Oscars ceremony and other events or programs held by the academy, for the next 10 years. Smith said in a statement that he would “accept and respect” the decision.