Chris Rock Remains Silent on Oscars Slap: ‘Not Until I Get Paid’

By Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.
April 10, 2022 Updated: April 10, 2022

Chris Rock suggested that he will only speak about the Will Smith slapping incident at the Oscars if he is paid for it.

“I’m OK, I have a whole show, and I’m not talking about that until I get paid,” Rock joked during his comedy show in Indio, California, on April 8, according to a reporter at the scene. “Life is good. I got my hearing back.”

It’s not clear whether Rock’s comments about getting “paid” suggest he is planning to file a civil lawsuit against Smith or if he is holding out for a network to pay him for an interview. Rock declined to file a police report after the incident last month, said the Los Angeles Police Department at the time.

During the 2022 Academy Awards in Los Angeles, Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, having a shaved head. The “Fresh Prince of Bel-Air” actor then walked on the stage and slapped Rock and yelled at him “keep my wife’s name out your [expletive] mouth” several times after he sat down.

Later, Smith, 53, issued an apology to Rock, 57, in a lengthy social media post and said he would resign as a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

But on April 8, the Academy announced it would bar Smith from attending the Oscars for the next ten years.

Epoch Times Photo
Denzel Washington, left, talks to Chris Rock onstage during the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre, in Hollywood, on March 27, 2022. (Myung Chun/Los Angeles Times via TCA)

“The Board has decided, for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards,” Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement.

The Academy added that during the Oscars broadcast, the board “did not adequately address the situation in the room. For this, we are sorry. This was an opportunity for us to set an example for our guests, viewers, and our Academy family around the world, and we fell short—unprepared for the unprecedented.”

A member of the Academy, Harry Lennix, said that Smith’s Academy Award for “King Richard” should have been taken from him.

“Smith needs to express-mail his golden trophy back to the Academy and publicly state something to the effect of: ‘Out of respect for the 94 years of honor conferred upon this award, I do not in good conscience feel worthy of being its custodian,’” Lennix wrote in a Variety column Saturday.

“Of the many unsettling things said in the aftermath of the slap, the most galling to me was his reference to the influence of a higher power during his surreal acceptance speech after he won for his work in ‘King Richard’ less than an hour after his act of violence—and the Academy’s equally shocking decision not to eject Smith from the ceremony,” Lennix added.

Jack Phillips
Breaking News Reporter
Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.