Nearly a month after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock during 94th Academy Awards ceremony, Rock’s mother recently sat down with local South Carolina news station WIS-TV to discuss the slap heard around the world.
“When Will slapped Chris, he slapped all of us,” Rose Rock said. “But he really slapped me. When you hurt my child, you hurt me.”
When asked if she thinks Smith’s award should be taken away, Rose replied, “I wouldn’t take his award away, and I don’t see any good way they could have taken him out without disrupting. So I’m really, really proud of the way Chris handled it.”
As for what she would say to Smith about his actions, Rose said, “I have no idea what I would say other than, ‘What in the world were you thinking?’”
Rock, who admitted that she thought the slap was staged until Smith “started using obscenities,” theorized how far things could have gone. “Chris could have stepped back and fallen. You really could have gotten taken out in handcuffs,” she said, addressing Smith directly.
Rose added, “You didn’t think. You reacted to your wife giving you the side-eye, and you went up, and you made her day because she was bowled over laughing when it happened.”
The Rock matriarch went on to admit that she feels bad that her son never received a personal apology from Smith.
“I feel really bad that he never apologized,” Rock 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.”
Earlier this month, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced its decision to ban Smith from attending the Oscars for the next 10 years in response to the actor slapping Rock at March’s ceremony.
“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,” AMPAS president David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement.
The statement continued, “The 94th Oscars were meant to be a celebration of the many individuals in our community who did incredible work this past year; however, those moments were overshadowed by the unacceptable and harmful behavior we saw Mr. Smith exhibit on stage.”
After the Academy’s announcement was made, Smith issued a brief statement of his own, writing, “I accept and respect the Academy’s decision.”
Check out a portion of Rose Rock’s interview below, and the full video here.