Chris Rock’s mother: Will Smith ‘slapped all of us’
Rose Rock, the mother of comedian Chris Rock, said in a new interview that her son’s onstage altercation with actor Will Smith at the Academy Awards was embarrassing for the family, adding that Smith “slapped all of us.”
In an interview with an NBC affiliate WIS in Columbia, S.C., published Saturday, Rose Rock, who is a motivational speaker in South Carolina, said at first she thought the altercation between her son and Smith was staged, but when Smith started to yell obscenities toward her son, she knew it was real.
“[Will] started using obscenities,” she said. “When he slapped Chris, he slapped all of us. He really slapped me.”
Rose Rock also noted her son’s excitement about presenting an award to his good friend Questlove saying that due to the altercation, the moment was ripped away from him, according to WIS.
Questlove, a founding member of the Hip-Hop band “The Roots,” won an Academy Award for his directorial debut in 2021’s “Summer of Soul,” a documentary film in which Rock appeared.
“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?’” Rose Rock added.
The Academy’s Board of Governors announced earlier this month that it has placed Smith on a ten-year ban from attending any Academy event as a result of his altercation with Rock.
Smith went on stage and slapped Rock after the comedian made a disparaging joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith’s hair. Pinkett Smith, the host of Facebook’s Red Table Talk, has been vocal about her struggles with alopecia, an auto-immune disease that causes hair loss.
Smith later won the Best Male Actor Oscar for his portrayal of Venus and Serena Williams’s father, Richard Williams, in the biopic “King Richard.”
Rose Rock added that she still feels that Smith should personally apologize to her son, saying a written statement doesn’t help, WIS noted.
“I feel really bad that he never apologized,” she said. “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.”