Comedian Chris Rock has joked about being slapped by Will Smith during his new comedy show Ego Death, which opened at London’s Royal Albert Hall on Thursday. The controversial slap happened at the Academy Awards ceremony on March 27 after Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett, and the fact that she suffers from alopecia.
“I’m okay, if anybody was wondering,” said Rock, according to The Times of London. “I got most of my hearing back.”
But if the 5,000-strong audience were expecting to hear more on the subject, they were disappointed. The 57-year-old comedian said that he had no intention of saying more on the matter. “People expect me to talk about the bullshit, I’m not going to talk about it right now, I’ll get to it eventually. On Netflix,” he joked. “Your tickets were expensive, but not that expensive.”
Rock did, however, make one last reference to the incident. When talking about how easily people take offense, he said: “Anyone who says ‘words hurt’ has never been slapped in the face.”
This is not the first time Rock has joked about what happened at the Oscars. He made a veiled reference to the incident on May 5 during a surprise appearance at Dave Chappelle’s comedy show in Los Angeles. Chappelle – who was brutally attacked at a Hollywood Bowl show in early May – jokingly told Rock he at least got “smacked by someone of repute.” To which Rock replied: “I got smacked by the softest n***a that ever rapped.”
During Thursday’s show at Albert Hall, the first of his European tour, Rock also joked it wasn’t “racist’” for the British royal family to inquire how dark Prince Henry and Meghan Markle’s children would be because other Black people would want to know too, The Times of London reported. The comedian even made jokes about UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has come under fire for partying with colleagues during the coronavirus lockdown. “I would like to party with Boris Johnson,” he said. “[But] I wouldn’t let him run a McDonald’s.”