Are you a little too close to home for your comfort? One week later Will SmithSlapped Chris RockDuring a stand up gig at the 94th Academy Awards, he laughed at the incident.
“Chris broke the ice by sarcastically saying he’s had an interesting week,” an eyewitness exclusively tells Us Weekly of the 57-year-old comedian’s performance at Borgata Event Center in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on Saturday, April 2. “Everyone laughed because they knew what he was referring to, of course.”
While Rock wasn’t interested in speaking in-depth about the March 27 encounter, he noted that he is “still processing” it and planned to further address it down the line. The Grown Ups actor continued his planned comedy routine with a subtle reference to Atlantic City’s geographical location.
“He made a joke about how Atlantic City is too close to Philly for him to get into it,” the insider reveals, referencing the 53-year-old Bel-Air’s Fresh Prince alum’s hometown. “The general vibe of the comment was that Atlantic City could be hostile territory because it’s so close to Philly. It was said in a casual joking way and everyone laughed.”
The Everyone Hates Chris An alum made headlines before when he joked about Jada pinkett Smith’s shaved head one week earlier. Before presenting Best Documentary Feature Oscar QuestloveRock suggested that Pinkett Smith, 50 could star as the lead in a sequel. G.I. Jane because of her shaved hair. (The Maryland native has often spoken out about her struggles with hair loss. Pinkett Smith laughed at the comment while her husband walked up to the stage and smacked Rock across his face. Smith shouted at the time, “Keep my wife’s name out your f—king mouth.”
While Rock declined to file a police report after the event, he later told a crowd in Boston, Massachusetts, that he was “still processing” what went down.
“Y’all are getting me misty-eyed and s–t,” Rock gushed over the crowd’s applause during his Wednesday, March 30, comedy show.
The Men in Black actor — who went on to win the Best Lead Actor trophy for his role in King Richard — has since issued a public apology for his actions and resigned from the Academy.
“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was not in line with the rules and I was wrong. I am ashamed of my actions and they are not indicative of the man that I want to become. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness,” Smith wrote, in part, via Instagram. “I would also like to apologize to The Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world.”
Rock has yet to publicly address Smith’s statement but didn’t let that faze his comedy set.
“Chris did not look tired. He was in an energetic mood despite it being his second show of the night and being so late,” the insider notes. “Later on, Chris said the words ‘Open love’ and someone in the crowd yelled, ‘The Smiths!’ Chris avoided that and the crowd laughed.”
With reporting by Diana Cooper, Whitney Ullman