Rock, an author and motivational speaker, told WIS that the comedian is doing well but “still processing” the incident that led Smith to resign from the Academy. The organization has since announced that Smith, who won best actor for his performance in King Richard, is banned from all events, including the Oscars ceremonies, for the next 10 years.
“I told someone, when Will slapped Chris, he slapped all of us, but he really slapped me,” Rose Rock said. “When you hurt my child, you hurt me.”
When asked what she would say to Smith, Rock replied, “I have no idea what I would say other than, ‘What in the world were you thinking?’ Because you did a slap, but so many things could have happened. Chris could have stepped back and fallen. You really could have gotten taken out in handcuffs. You didn’t think. You reacted to your wife giving you the side-eye, and you went up, and you made her day because she was bowled over laughing when it happened.”
Regarding the 10-year ban, she said, “What does that mean? You don’t even go every year.” Rock, who pointed out that she didn’t think the Academy should have taken away Smith’s Oscar, went on to say she was “really, really proud” of how her son reacted in the moment.
She added that she didn’t think the apology Smith posted to his Instagram account on the day after the ceremony felt genuine. “I feel really bad that he never apologized,” Rock said. “His people wrote up a piece and said, ‘I apologize to Chris Rock,’ but something like that is personal. You reach out.”
Smith’s slap followed Chris Rock making a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, having a shaved head. The comedian has largely remained mum since the Oscars.
Earlier this month, Chris’ brother Kenny Rock told the Los Angeles Times that he didn’t find Smith’s apology to be genuine.