Chris Rock's mother speaks out over Will Smith Oscars slap saying, 'He really slapped me'

Rock's mum thought the moment was staged until Smith began shouting obscenities

Chris Rock's mother has spoken out following Will Smith's Oscars slap. Photo: AP
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Chris Rock’s mother, Rose, has spoken out about the moment Will Smith slapped the comedian at the Academy Awards over a joke he made about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

“When Will slapped Chris, he slapped all of us, but he really slapped me,” she said in an interview with US television station WIS.

A motivational speaker, youth advocate and Mama Rock's Rules author, Rose said she was watching the awards ceremony at home when her son was slapped. She said she first thought it was staged until Smith started shouting obscenities.

She said her son was looking forward to presenting Questlove with his Oscar, but that Smith had ruined the moment.

“No one even heard his speech,” she said. “No one was able to just be in the moment because everyone was sitting there like, ‘What just happened?’”

Rose said she couldn’t do much from home besides reach out to her son to tell him she was proud of how he handled the situation.

This month, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences banned Smith from attending the Oscars for the next decade.

“Mr Smith shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programmes, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards,” its president, David Rubin, and chief executive, Dawn Hudson, said.

Smith formally resigned from the academy and said he accepted and respected its decision.

Asked about her thoughts on the academy's decision, Rose said she wouldn’t want it to take away Smith’s Oscar for Best Actor, which he won for his lead role in King Richard, neither did she “see any good way they could have taken him out without disrupting”.

Smith apologised to Chris in a statement. However, Rose said it was somewhat an impersonal and superficial apology.

“I feel really bad that he never apologised,” Rose said. “I mean his people wrote up a piece saying I apologise to Chris Rock, but you see something like that is personal, you reach out.”

Updated: April 24, 2022, 10:34 AM