Hours after Will Smith issued an apology on social media for slapping Chris Rock during the 2022 Oscars, the comedian took to the stage to wax poetic about the incident, comparing Smith to former Death Row Records executive and currently incarcerated hothead Suge Knight.
“Everybody is trying to be a f—ing victim,” Rock, 57, said during a gig at Atlanta’s Fox Theater Friday night. “If everybody claims to be a victim, then nobody will hear the real victims. Even me getting smacked by Suge Smith … I went to work the next day, I got kids.”
“Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face,” Rock added, according to People.
As part of his Ego Death World Tour, the comic is currently touring his new material. He also mentioned it during recent shows in New Jersey and New York, which were co-headlined by Kevin Hart.
Smith’s most recent apology — he also apologized to Rock via social media days after the incident — revealed that Rock has yet to speak to him about the “unacceptable” moment.
“I reached out to Chris, and the message that came back is he’s not ready to talk, but when he is, he will reach out,” Smith said in the video posted to YouTube. “I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”
Smith, 53, also apologized to Rock’s mother and brother Tony Rock.
“That was one of the things about that moment that I didn’t realize,” he continued. “I wasn’t thinking about how many people got hurt at that moment. I want to apologize to Chris’ mother, to Chris’ family, especially his brother Tony Rock.”
Tony, who previously collaborated with Smith on the early aughts sitcom “All Of Us,” accused Smith of hitting his brother, leaving the Oscar winner with the impression that their relationship is now “probably irreparable.”
“Disappointing people is my central trauma. I hate when I let people down, so it hurts psychologically and emotionally to know that I didn’t live up to people’s image and impression of me,” he further explained. “The work I’m trying to do is I am deeply remorseful, and I’m trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself.”