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“He’s bigger than me… Nevada would not sanction a fight”: Chris Rock Mocks “Bully” Will Smith, Talks About Boxing the ‘Ali’ Actor in His Stand-up Show

chris rock will smith slap oscar return

It’s been a while since the 94th Academy Awards was shaken up by the Chris Rock-Will Smith incident which is now being widely dubbed as the “Oscars slapgate”. But the resounding physical act of violence still cuts deep and hits a raw nerve for many. Even though Chris Rock was quick to counter with his comedic arsenal, no manner of apology or mockery of the situation diminishes the impact left in its aftermath.

Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars
Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars

Also read: Every Upcoming Will Smith Project Affected By His 10-Year Oscars Ban

The Social Implications of Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock

A physical act of one person slapping another one was committed with a finality. The momentary “lapse of judgment” on Will Smith‘s part didn’t just set back decades of the progress of civility among men but advocated a culture of violence.

Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at the Oscars
Will Smith slaps Chris Rock at the 94th Oscars ceremony

Also read: “He needs the public’s forgiveness, not Chris”: Chris Rock Has No Plans To Be Friends With Will Smith After His Public Apology

The manner of retaliation enacted out live in front of millions of people on a platform as widely respected as the Oscars was not only shocking but also disappointing, especially for those who long considered Will Smith a venerated member of Hollywood. But for those like DJ Jazzy Jeff, Smith is only human. In response, Michael Jai White essentially calls the Bad Boys For Life actor a bully when he claims,

“It’s not an excuse but I do understand the situation and the world that they start to build where you think whatever whims you have is justified. That’s just a by-product of power.”

Chris Rock declines to host the 95th Academy Awards
Chris Rock declines to host the 95th Academy Awards

Also read: After Will Smith Publicly Apologizes to Chris Rock For the Oscar slap, His Daughter Willow Smith Breaks Silence on Fans Criticizing Her Family

Chris Rock Takes a Jab at the Oscars Slapgate Incident

During a Sunday show at the Arizona Financial Theatre in downtown Phoenix, there was a sold-out crowd waiting to hear the comedian’s response to the infamous 2022 Oscars incident. After making a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith‘s alopecia (by relating her look to that of G.I. Jane 2), Chris Rock had been hit by Will Smith who boldly walked up to him on stage, slapped him, and later repeatedly yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f**king mouth”.

Chris Rock's Ego Death World Tour '22 sells out after the slapgate incident
Chris Rock’s Ego Death World Tour ’22 sells out after the ‘slapgate’ incident

Also read: 5 Reasons Why Chris Rock Rocks!

At the show, Rock had to be catalyzed to comment on the incident that he had long since claimed to have shaken off, claiming, “you don’t go to the hospital for a paper cut.” But when he was offered the gig of hosting the 95th Academy Awards, he declined. He then also rejected an offer of appearing in a Super Bowl ad. At the stand-up, Rock claimed that going back to host the 2023 Oscars would be similar to asking O.J.Simpson’s late wife Nicole Brown Simpson “to go back to the restaurant.”

Chris Rock added, “He’s bigger than me. The state of Nevada would not sanction a fight between me and Will Smith”, referencing the actor’s performance as the legendary boxer, Muhammad Ali, in the 2001 biopic Ali which had awarded Smith his first Oscar nomination.

Source: Arizona Republic

Written by Diya Majumdar

At 25, Diya Majumdar is inching closer to getting to the bottom of every film and television's history in existence. Having graduated with honors in literature from Miranda House, DU, her passion and profession both include dissecting the world of cinema, with more than 800 published articles on Fandomwire. She is a liberally opinionated person with an overbearing love for Monet, Edvard Munch, and Van Gogh and boasts of being an avid painter of all their troubled works.