After weeks of silence, Chris Rock has finally addressed his now-infamous incident with Will Smith at March’s 94th Annual Academy Awards. During another sold-out show at Baltimore’s Lyric Performing Arts Center on Friday, Rock directly referenced the slap, but only spent a second on it before moving on with his set.
According to WJZ-TV reporter Annie Rose Ramos, Rock started his set off by saying, “I’m alright. I’m alright. Healed from the nicks and bruises…for the most part.”
Ramos then reported that Rock didn’t address the incident for the remainder of the hour-and-a-half-long set. Rock had previously alluded to the idea he and his team are shopping around a first-look interview to networks that might be interested in hearing the comedian’s full story.
Rock’s mother Rose also recently spoke up about the slap, saying when her son was slapped, it was as if Smith was slapping “all of us.”
“When he slapped Chris, he slapped all of us. He really slapped me,” Rose said. “No one even heard his speech. No one was able to just be in the moment because everyone was sitting there like, ‘What just happened?'”
Smith has since resigned from the Academy and is banned from attending Academy-related events for the next 10 years. He’s still eligible for Oscar nominations and wins, despite his inability to attend the ceremony.
“I have directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct. My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable,” the Oscar-winning actor said in his resignation address.
He added, “The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home. I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken. I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film. So, I am resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate. Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”