Chris Rock’s Mom: Will Smith Slapped All of Us

Rose Rock recently spoke to Billie Jean Shaw from Soda City Live on WIS-TV, an NBC affiliate out of Columbia, South Carolina, about the now-infamous incident and offered a unique perspective. 

She was watching at home (though she has attended the event in the past) and thought, at first, the whole thing was staged, until Smith “started using obscenities.” 

“When he slapped Chris, he slapped all of us,” she said, adding, “he really slapped me. Because when you hurt my child, you hurt me.”

When asked what she would say if she had a chance to speak to Smith, she was blunt: “What in the world were you thinking?”

Showing a mother’s concern, she added that Smith (who trained to play Muhammad Ali!) could have caused Chris to step back and fall, or that Smith could have been taken out in handcuffs. “You didn’t think,” she concluded in her imaginary conversation with the King Richard actor.

She said she was proud of how her son reacted, but it was hard because there was nothing she could do for him from home. 

Regarding the Academy’s 10-year ban from the ceremony, Mama Rock had to laugh. “And what does that mean?!” she asked. “You [Smith] don’t even go every year! They boycotted a year they weren’t even invited. It’s all kinds of funny.”

She also expressed annoyance: Her son was eager, she said, to give Questlove the Oscar for best director (for Summer of Soul), but “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 isn’t wrong!)

She concluded by saying she wouldn’t take Smith’s Oscar away, and recognizes there was no way for the Academy to have removed him during the ceremony without disrupting things. But she’s unimpressed with Smith’s apologies thus far. “His people wrote up a piece saying I apologize to Chris Rock, but something like that is personal, you reach out.”


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