‘When You Hurt My Child, You Hurt Me’: Chris Rock’s Mother Speaks on Will Smith Slap
Through all of its critiques, reactions and division caused, it seems the world forgot to consider one of the only voices that matter in the Chris Rock-Will Smith Academy Awards drama.
Last month, Oscar winner Will Smith walked on stage and slapped host and comedian Chris Rock after Rock took a jab at Jada Pinkett-Smith’s bald head; Pinkett-Smith shaved her head after previously revealing a struggle with alopecia.
Smith’s post-slap words, “Keep my wife’s name out your f***-ing mouth” rang out across all platforms, causing somewhat of a divide among the masses, begging the question: was Smith justified in protecting his wife of 25 years via physical assault.
A month later, Chris Rock’s mother Rose Rock is speaking out about her child.
Though her eldest son is still processing the unexpected, now-viral moment, Rose Rock said when Smith slapped him, it was as if he was also slapping her.
“When you hurt my child, you hurt me,” Rose Rock said Tuesday in an exclusive interview with WIS-TV in Columbia, South Carolina. “When Will slapped Chris, he slapped all of us — but he really slapped me.”
Rose Rock, who has never met Will Smith, said he has not apologized personally to her. She noted that his team wrote a statement, “but you see something like that is personal, you reach out.”
During the television interview in Chris Rock’s home state, Rose Rock was sure to commend her son’s resilience on a global stage. After being hit, the Grammy Award- and Emmy Award-winning comedian stood tall and kept the show rolling.
“I told him, ‘You were standing squarely on the shoulders of Sidney.’ Sidney Poitier, because that was someone that we all looked up to,” Rose Rock said, noting Chris could have responded in many different ways that would have produced a worse outcome. “He’s still processing, because that’s not something you expect.”
She also said that her son was excited to present director and fellow South Carolinian Questlove with his Academy Award, but everyone was trying to figure out the moment. Rose Rock was watching at home along with millions of others and at first thought the slap was staged.
Smith won the 2022 Oscar for Best Actor. While the Academy did not strip his award, it banned the actor from attending the Oscars for 10 years.
“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,” Rose Rock said.