Chris Rock finally dropped his dignified silence on being slapped by Will Smith, telling the crowd at a show on his UK tour that Smith ‘did an impression of a perfect man for 30 years’ but is ‘just as ugly as the rest of us’.
Rock was performing with Dave Chappelle at Liverpool’s M&S Arena for the first night of their multi-date tour. Chappelle asked Rock about the infamous slap, probing: ‘Did that s**t hurt?’
In response, Rock – who had been tight-lipped on the matter until now – unleashed.
‘Goddam right… the motherf***er hit me over a bulls**t joke, the nicest joke I ever told.
‘Will did the impression of a perfect person for 30 years, and he ripped his mask off and showed us he was as ugly as the rest of us.
‘Whatever the consequences are… I hope he doesn’t put his mask back on again, and lets his real face breathe. I see myself in both men,’ he said.
Chappelle and Rock were performing at Liverpool’s M&S Arena for the first night of their multi-date tour. They are shown on stage last night. Rock joked that Smith ‘did an impression of a perfect man for 30 years’ but let his mask off and showed he is ‘just as ugly as the rest of us’
The slap heard round the world: Smith stormed the stage on March 27 to smack his old pal after he told a poor-taste joke about Jada Pinkett Smith
Rock and Chappelle backstage at their show in Liverpool on Thursday night
Smith stormed the stage at the Academy Awards in March to slap Rock after he made a poor-taste joke about Smith’s wife Jada.
She’d shaved her head after suffering from alopecia, and Rock joked that she resembled ‘GI Jane’.
Furious, Smith interrupted the show, bounded up onto the stage and slapped his friend across the cheek.
The smack was heard round the world and overshadowed the entire event.
Smith apologized at the time briefly, and earlier this month he issued a groveling, hand-wringing, Instagram mea culpa to his old pal. Rock hasn’t accepted the apology, he revealed.
Smith wasn’t the only target of Rock’s ire on Thursday night – he also took a swipe at Meghan Markle and her constant complaints about the royal family and her life.
Will Smith is shown earlier this month in Los Angeles with his wife Jada Pinkett Smith
‘I just don’t get it,’ he said. He used her as an example of the current obsession with being a victim which he said was one of the only ways to be famous.
In his apology earlier this month, Smith said: ‘I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk when he is, he will reach out.
‘So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.’
He went on to win Best Actor for his role in King Richard that night, but he did not specifically apologize to Rock.
Insisting that his wife had nothing to do with the slap, he went on: ‘I made a choice of my own from my own experiences from my history with Chris.
‘Jada had nothing to do with it. I’m sorry, babe.
‘I want to say sorry to my kids and my family for the heat that I brought on all of us.
‘To all my fellow nominees, this is a community.
‘It’s like, I won because you voted for me and it breaks my heart to have stolen and tarnished your moment.’
Smith went on to claim that ‘disappointing people’ is his ‘central trauma’.
‘I can still see Questlove’s eyes. You know it happened on Questlove’s award. You know, it’s like. I’m sorry really isn’t sufficient.
The actor posted the video on Instagram on Friday where said he was ‘fogged out’ during his acceptance speech, and that is why he did not apologize to Rock. ‘I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is that he’s not ready to talk when he is, he will reach out
Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith had recently revealed that she was suffering alopecia and had shaved her head. Rock joked during his hosting set that she looked like ‘G.I. Jane’
‘Disappointing people is my central trauma. I hate when I let people down so it hurts.
‘It hurts me psychologically and emotionally to know I didn’t live up to people’s image and impression of me, and the work I am trying to do is I am deeply remorseful.
‘And I’m trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself. I’m human and I made a mistake and I’m trying not to think of myself as a piece of s**t.
‘I would say to those people I know it was confusing, I know it was shocking, but I promise you I am deeply devoted and committed to putting light and love and joy into the world.
‘And, you know, if you hang on I promise we’ll be able to be friends again,’ he said to the fans he had let down.
Rock recently addressed the controversy at a Madison Square Garden show, where he laughed it off.
‘Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face,’ he told the crowd.
Rock is scheduled to perform with Chappelle in London, Copenhagen and Amsterdam, before returning to the US later this month for more shows.