Chris Rock says he's 'still processing' Will Smith slap in first public comments since Oscars

Chris Rock breaks silence on Will Smith Oscars slap at Boston comedy show, says he's 'still processing' it.
Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars. Photo credit: Getty Images

Chris Rock has for the first time publicly addressed being hit by Will Smith at the 2022 Academy Awards on Sunday night (local time), telling an audience at his stand-up comedy show he's "still processing what happened".

The Grown Ups star poked fun at the incident briefly at the start of his show in Boston on Wednesday, but said he will issue a more in-depth response at a later date.

"How was your weekend?" Rock said as the crowd roared with laughter, according to audio obtained by Variety.

"I don't have a bunch of shit about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend.

"I'm still kind of processing what happened. So, at some point I'll talk about that shit. And it will be serious and funny."

Cheers and applause can be heard from the audience, including one person yelling: "F**k Will Smith!"

"I'm going to tell some jokes. It's nice to just be out," Rock said.

His comments came on the same day the organisation behind the Oscars announced it had launched disciplinary proceedings against Smith.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences released a statement saying they had asked Smith to leave the ceremony after he attacked Rock on-stage, but the actor refused.

There will be a meeting next month where Smith's punishment may be decided. As a penalty for his behaviour, he could be suspended or even expelled from the Academy.

As well as slapping Rock on stage, Smith also yelled obscenities at the comic from the crowd, causing the US broadcast to be muted for a short period of time.

Smith's reaction was prompted by a quip Rock had directed at Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, regarding her bald head. The comedian had jokingly compared her to GI Jane, the bald titular character of the 1997 film. 

However, it's understood Pinkett Smith didn't respond well to the joke, as she suffers from the hair loss condition alopecia.

The next day, Smith apologised to Rock in a statement. Police said Rock declined to press charges.