People still have plenty of questions about Chris Rock and Will Smith’s feud after the King Richard actor issued an apology to the comedian for smacking him across the face at the 94th Annual Academy Awards. Among them is whether or not the pair have even officially spoken after the incident—and now, Rock is letting us know the truth.
The Everybody Hates Chris creator made his return to stand-up in Boston, MA, on March 30, 2022, marking his first time back on stage since Smith slapped him at the 2022 Oscars after Rock made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. During his first of two shows at Boston’s Wilbur Theater, Rock briefly addressed the incident at the top of his set. “I don’t have a bunch of shit about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I had like a whole show I wrote before this weekend,” he said, adding, “And I’m still kind of processing what happened, so at some point, I’ll talk about that shit. And it’ll be serious and it’ll be funny, but right now I’m going to tell some jokes.”
Later in the evening, Rock returned to the stage for a second show and reiterated his plans to talk about the smacking incident at a later date. “I wrote a show before all this nonsense happened,” he said. Then, Rock revealed whether he’s had a chance to speak to Smith: “I haven’t talked to anyone, despite what you heard,” he said, seemingly in reference to previous reports that the pair had already worked through their issues.
In a report by Page Six following Smith’s smack, rapper Sean “Diddy” Combs was quoted as saying that the Pursuit of Happyness actor and the Saturday Night Live alum had settled their differences after the Academy Awards on March 27, 2022. “That’s not a problem. That’s over. I can confirm that,” he reportedly said when asked about the pair. “It’s all love. They’re brothers.”
However, in a subsequent report by TMZ, Diddy claimed that he never said that the pair were on good terms. “I never confirmed they had reconciled,” he told the outlet. “I said, ‘As brothers, they will work it out, and let’s move on with love.’” A source who spoke to the site at the time added that Diddy realizes people have been hurt by the situation and doesn’t want to get in the middle of it all to “take the focus off of the conflict moving forward in the right way.”
Rock’s performances, meanwhile, came just one day after the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced “disciplinary proceedings” against Smith following his actions at the awards ceremony. Smith, for his part, issued a formal apology on March 28, 2022, in a statement on Instagram. “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” he wrote. “My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” Smith added, referring to his wife’s public battle with alopecia, an autoimmune condition that targets hair follicles and often results in hair loss.
“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness,” Smith continued. “I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.”