Chris Rock’s mother, Rosalie “Rose” Rock, is speaking out for the first time following the ongoing controversy over Will Smith slapping Chris Rock on live television at the 94th Academy Awards.
In an exclusive, on-on-one interview with WIS-TV’s Billie Jean Shaw on Friday (April 22), Rose said the slap didn’t only hurt her son. “When he slapped Chris, he slapped all of us. He really slapped me,” she told the TV station. “Because when you hurt my child, you hurt me.”
Will physically confronted the comedian after Chris made a joke about Will’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith. Chris made a comment stating that Jada would appear in a new G.I. Jane movie because of her shaved head.
Jada has alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes a person’s hair to fall out so the joke triggered Will to walk up to the stage and slap the comedian. “Keep my wife’s name out of your f**king mouth,” Will shouted as he sat back down.
“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,” Rose, who usually attends the award show with her son, said of the moment.
She told the TV station that her son had been longing to present Questlove, who won an Oscar for the documentary Summer of Soul, but the moment was ruined by the slap. “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?'” she said of the award Chris was presenting to Questlove when the slap occurred.
After winning his very first Oscar for his portrayal of Richard Williams in King Richard, the Academy made the decision to ban Will from attending any events in person or virtually for the next 10 years.
When asked about how the Oscars handled the situation Rose said, “I wouldn’t take his award away, and I don’t see any good way they could have taken him out without disrupting.”
However, she did mention that Will did not personal apologize to Chris.
“I feel really bad that he never apologized,” Rose added. “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.”
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