Chris Rock has made it clear that he's not about to speak out about Will Smith for free, and he's also reportedly tired of being portrayed as a victim. Since the infamous Oscars moment that overshadowed the ceremony completely, Rock has made some passing comments behind the scenes while on tour. Smith hadn't spoken about the moment until his video was released at the end of the week.
Reactions to the video have been varied, with some praising Smith and others labeling it a hollow apology. But according to The Fresh Prince actor, he has reached out to Rock but the comedian isn't ready to speak to him.
Chris Rock jokes that he was slapped by ‘Suge Smith’ following Will Smith apology. : entertainment https://t.co/b3rXGBd9cj— Holliwood Gossip (@HolliwoodGossip) July 31, 2022
That doesn't mean Rock hasn't been ready to speak about the moment, referencing it shortly after the scary incident with Dave Chappelle at the Hollywood Bowl, even referring to Smith as "the softest n-a that ever rapped" when joking with the comedian later at The Comedy Store. But after the apology clip was published, all eyes were on Rock and his latest performance in Atlanta on Friday night.
According to CNN, Rock used the stage as a moment to talk about playing the victim and how everybody wants to be the victim. "Everybody is trying to be a f-ing victim. If everybody claims to be a victim, then nobody will hear the real victims," Rock said during his set. "Even me getting smacked by Suge Smith ... I went to work the next day, I got kids."
Suge Smith is a reference to the slap, but also a reference to infamous Death Row Records head Suge Knight. Rock wasn't held over a balcony and allegedly forced to sign over money by Smith, but it's solid joke work.
He then adds that "anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face." Technically Rock wasn't punched but a hit is a hit. It's the sting of surprise around it all that might have the most influence on the public perception if speculation is all right to unleash.
It will be quite the moment when Rock goes public with his jokes and comments about the incident. There are just so many signposts ahead for tentative things, including future Oscars appearances that poke fun at what happened. Gone are the days when the only fears you had were Jack Palance challenging you to lift a car and Jack Nicholson challenging you to take a walk while he talked to your girlfriend. At least that's the Hollywood twist on things.