“Will Smith does movies with his shirt off,” said Rock, pacing the stage in his white outfit. “You never seen me do a movie with my shirt off. If I’m in a movie getting open-heart surgery, I got on a sweater.”
The Run-Up to the 2023 Oscars
The 95th Academy Awards will be presented on March 12 in Los Angeles.
The full set, titled “Selective Outrage,” addressed cancel culture, the Jan. 6 riot, abortion and Rock’s family, only addressing the slap at the very end, saying that he was “not a victim” in the situation.
“I took that hit like Pacquiao,” Rock said, referring to the former boxing champion.
At the Oscars ceremony last year, Smith climbed onstage and smacked Rock on live television shortly after the comedian made a joke about the buzzed hairstyle of Pinkett Smith, who has alopecia, a condition that leads to hair loss. Smith then shouted at Rock to “keep my wife’s name out your mouth,” using an expletive — a warning that Rock appeared to remember on Saturday, when he referred to Pinkett Smith as “his wife.”
The unscripted Oscars moment — followed by Smith’s unapologetic acceptance speech for the best actor award minutes later — stunned viewers and prompted a scramble inside the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which administers the awards ceremony, as it tried to figure out the proper response. Smith ultimately resigned from the academy, which later barred him from attending the Oscars ceremony for a decade.
Since the episode, Smith has apologized several times, saying in a video posted to YouTube last year that he was “deeply remorseful” and, addressing Rock directly, that he was ready to talk at any point. (At a show in London with the comedian Dave Chappelle, Rock was dismissive of the recorded apology, likening it to a “hostage video,” according to a report by Deadline.)