Rock was referring to the video Smith released back in late July to apologize for slapping Rock during the March Academy Awards telecast. The comedian had made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith‘s hair, reportedly unaware she has alopecia. As a response, Smith, 53, who would later accept the Oscar for Best Actor that night, cursed at Rock before storming the stage and smacking him.
Rock continued a bit that he’s performed throughout his tour, saying “Yes that s*** hurt. He played Ali,” referring to Smith’s role as the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali in 2001 film Ali. “I can’t even play Floyd Mayweather.”
Joking that Rock had “upstaged” him that night by making a joke about Smith, Chappelle also addressed the Oscar skirmish during his turn at the mic. He told the London audience that if the actor had slapped him onstage during the awards show, he would not have “enjoyed the rest of his night.”
Chappelle added that since his own personal experience with attacked on-stage, he never knows if a crowd is hostile.
“That was some scary s***,” he said of the incident at his May show.
Just last week during a performance of his stand-up show in Phoenix, Ariz., Rock claimed he was asked to host next year’s Oscars but refused the invitation.
According toThe Arizona Republic, “Rock compared returning to the Oscars like returning to the scene of a crime, referencing the murder trial of O.J. Simpson, whose ex-wife’s killing began with her leaving a pair of eyeglasses at an Italian restaurant. Rock said returning to the award ceremony would be like asking Nicole Brown Simpson ‘to go back to the restaurant.'”
In the apology video, the King Richard star said he had tried to connect with Rock in the months following the incident, but hadn’t had any success in speaking to the comic directly.
“I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is he’s not ready to talk and when he is, he will reach out. So I will say to you, Chris, I apologize to you,” Smith shared. “My behavior was unacceptable and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.”
One person Smith does have in his corner is ex-wife Sheree Zampino, with whom he shares 29-year-old son Trey. The frequent Real Housewives of Beverly Hills guest star said that no matter what happens to Smith, she stands by him.
“I ride with him!” she told Page Six last week. Still, watching the incident on TV as it occurred proved to be “surreal.”
“I thought it was a skit at first, but once I realized it was real, my thinking was, ‘I’m not even going to deal with this because it’s his night,'” she said. “When he came over, we were supportive and loved on him. The whole situation was foreign to me because Will is always in control and gracious. You don’t really see him get upset that often.”
That said, Zampino thinks it’s time to move on from the incident at the Oscars.
“He’s apologized, and he’s taken responsibility and accountability for it,” Zampino added. “I don’t know what happened in the moment. I wouldn’t ask. If that’s something he wants to share, he can. But he’s got a family that loves him, rides for him and supports him. He’s allowed to be human.”