Will Smith is said to be ’embarrassed and hurt’ by Chris Rock’s decision to base a new Netflix special on their infamous clash at the 94th Academy Awards.
The couple made ceremonial history for the wrong reasons after Smith marched on stage and punched Rock in the face for making a joke about wife Jada Pinkett-Smith’s alopecia.
Smith, 54, has since been banned from the awards for 10 years, while Rock – who attended the event in 2022 – has used the incident as source material for his new stand-up show, Chris Rock: Selective Scandal.
Performing at the Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore – ironically, the city of Pinkett-Smith’s birth – Rock, 58, debuted a series of stinging rebukes aimed at the couple, among them a comic monologue inspired by her extramarital affair with singer August Alsina.
Sources have since told Entertainment Tonight that Smith has been deeply moved by the Netflix special and is keen for Rock to ‘let it go’.
Although reportedly hurt and embarrassed by Selective Outrage, the outlet claims that Smith has yet to actually see it and instead has been informed of its content by those who have.
Rock has accused the Oscar winner of having “selective outrage” during the show’s finale and added salt to the wound by rehashing Pinkett-Smith’s well-documented infidelity.
But a source close to the comedian tells DailyMail.com it could have been avoided with a simple ‘I’m sorry’.
“Chris never got a one-on-one private apology from Will, only the public one, which really didn’t mean anything,” insisted a source close to the comedian. In fact, Will has only addressed the situation twice – once on Instagram the day after the Oscars and once in a video apology.
But the insider insisted that Rock’s decision to resurrect the scandal on his Netflix show had nothing to do with seeking revenge, but rather was a way for the comedian to ‘get it all out’ and ‘be done with it’.
Chris wanted to get this out once and for all and be done with it. This was very disheartening for him,” the source added.
The comedian certainly didn’t hold back when it came to elaborating on the slapgate scandal on stage.
Instead, he doubled down on his attack on the A-list couple by bringing up Pinkett-Smith’s admitted affair with her son Jaden’s close friend, musician August Alsini, in 2020.
To a shocked audience, both live and on location, Rock said that Smith had twisted anger over the fact that “his wife fucked his son’s friend.”
And to add insult to injury, his humiliating blowback was aired exactly one week before the 2023 Oscars are due to take place on March 12 – an event Smith has been banned from attending for the next ten years as a result of his violent outbreak at last year’s ceremony.
The infamous slap happened in March 2022 when Rock took the stage to present an Oscar for Best Documentary.
Turning to Smith’s, he said he was ‘delighted’ to see Pinkett-Smith in GI Jane making fun of her shaved head.
Smith immediately got up on stage and punched Chris in the side of his head. After returning to his front row seat, he shouted: ‘Keep my wife’s mother’s bloody name out of your mouth.’
In the weeks that followed, the actor was forced to resign from the Academy, which subsequently banned him for 10 years.
During his stand-up special on Saturday night, Rock shared his thoughts, telling the crowd: ‘Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face. But I’m not a victim, honey. You will never see me on Oprah or Gayle crying.
‘Everybody called him ab**ch and who does he beat? Me. Y’all know what happened to me when I got smashed by Suge Smith,” he joked. ‘It still hurts. I had “Summertime” ringing in my ears.’
Rock then spoke about why he didn’t hit Will back, saying: ‘You know what my parents taught me? Don’t fight in front of white people.’