Rosalie "Rose" Rock said that the Will Smith slap hurt everyone that loves Chris Rock.
Chris Rock's mother is speaking out about Will Smith hitting her son on live television. During an interview with NBC affiliate WIS of Columbia, Rosalie "Rose" Rock said her son was not the only one hurt by the slap. "When he slapped Chris, he slapped all of us. He really slapped me," she told the South Carolina TV station. Chris Rock made a "G.I. Jane" joke at the expense of Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, whose buzzed hairstyle bore a resemblance to the movie's lead Demi Moore's look. But it was not well received by Jada who struggles with alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that targets a person's hair and causes it to fall out.
This apparently triggered Smith who quickly walked across the stage and struck Rock violently before yelling, "Keep my wife’s name out of your f**king mouth.." Pointing at the moment, Rose Rock said, "You reacted to your wife giving you the side-eye and you went and made her day because she was mulled over laughing when it happened."
She disclosed how eager her son had been that day to present Questlove with an Oscar for the documentary Summer of Soul. But the beautiful moment was ruined by the slap. "No one even heard his speech. No one was able to just be in the moment, because everyone was sitting there like, 'What just happened?'" she added.
While Rose did not attend the ceremony, she was watching from home as her son was slapped in front of millions. Initially, she thought the whole thing was stage until "he [WIll] started using obscenities." All the helpless mother could do was reach out to her son after the Oscars and tell him just how proud she was of the way he handled the terrible situation.
What makes it even harder for Rose is knowing that something terrible could have happened in the moment. Chris could have stepped back and fallen as a result of the violent hit or Smith could have been escorted out in handcuffs, she said. Shortly after the incident, Smith was awarded his first Oscar for his performance in King Richard.
Days later, the actor resigned from The Academy, which ultimately announced its decision to ban Smith from attending the Oscars for 10 years. "The Board has decided, for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards," said Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson in a statement.
When asked about the Academy's decision and their handling of the situation Rose said, "I wouldn’t take his award away, and I don’t see any good way they could have taken him out without disrupting." That being said, she is hurt by the lack of apology from Smith's end. "I feel really bad that he never apologized. I mean his people wrote up a piece saying I apologize to Chris Rock, but you see something like that is personal, you reach out," she noted.
Cover image source: Getty | Photo by Stephen Lovekin