Chris Rock returns to site of Will Smith slap at Dolby Theatre

Comedian Chris Rock joked about how painful his infamous Oscar smackdown was in his return to the same Los Angeles theater where it took place — reminding the crowd of Will Smith’s big screen role as heavyweight boxing champ Muhammad Ali. 

After opening up with some jokes about Dave Chappelle and the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, the “Everybody Hates Chris” creator addressed the Dolby Theatre crowd about the egregious slap.

“People were like, ‘Did it hurt?’ You’re goddamn right it hurt,” Rock exclaimed. “Will Smith is significantly bigger than me. I am not the same size, Ok? This mother f—- played Ali! I played Pookie from ‘New Jack City!’

The iconic comedian didn’t dwell too much over the slap during his roughly two-hour set but revealed why he chose not to fight back after being slapped by Smith.

Rock was on stage to present the award for Best Documentary Feature when Smith slapped him.
Rock was on stage to present the award for Best Documentary Feature when Smith slapped him.

Smith slapping rock.
Rock was on stage and made a “G.I. Jane” joke which resulted in Smith storming onto the stage and slapping him.

Smith slapping rock on stage.
As a result of the slap, Smith was banned by the Academy for 10 years.

“People say, ‘Why the f–k did you do nothing back?’ Because I got parents,” Rock said. “Because I was raised, you know? You know what my parents taught me? Don’t fight in front of white people! No, I’m not a victim!”

Rock seemed determined to show that he had shifted the energy in the room by claiming he was not the victim then and he would never play one on stage or in his own personal life.

In March, Smith attacked Rock during the 94th Academy Awards ceremony after the comedian made a joke about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Dolby theatre.
Last night’s performance was Rock’s first time back at the Dolby Theatre since the slap.

Chris Rock Dolby theatre promo from Live Nation.
Chris Rock’s set went on for nearly 2 hours at the Dolby Theatre.

“Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it,” Rock said, referencing the 1997 film “G.I. Jane” in which Demi Moore’s character has a buzz cut.

Jada, 51, who suffers from alopecia areata, a condition that causes the immune system to attack hair follicles resulting in hair loss, was not a fan of being the butt-end of Rock’s joke.

Will Smith walked up on stage and slapped Rock, and went back to his seat, where he yelled for the host to “keep my wife’s name out of your f–king mouth.”

Will Smith and Jada.
Jada and Will Smith at the Vanity Fair Oscar Party following Will’s slap on Rock and Oscar win.
Future Publishing via Getty Imag

Smith would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance in “King Richard” that same night. Smith was “slapped” with a 10-year ban by the Academy but was able to keep his Oscar win.

In July, Smith released a video on his Youtube channel apologizing for his “unacceptable” assault on Rock.

“I’m human and I made a mistake and I’m trying not to think of myself as a piece of s–t.”


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