Dozens of fans and media members flocked to Boston's Wilbur Theatre Wednesday, eager for a glimpse of Chris Rock after a shocking smack by Will Smith at the Academy Awards. It was Rock's first comedy show since his run-in with Smith at the Oscars Sunday night.
At 4:30 p.m. local time, Rock walked on stage to shouts of support, and said he is not yet ready to talk about what happened.
“Umm, I don’t have a bunch a s*** about what happened, so if you came to hear that…I have like a whole show I wrote before this weekend,” he said, laughing in audio shared by Variety on Instagram. “And I’m still kinda processing what happened like…so…at some point I’ll talk about that s*** and it will be serious and funny.”
In true comedy fashion, he opened with the joke, “So…how was your weekend?” making his audience roar with laughter, some of them shouting “we love you, Chris!”
Rock’s words were the first he’s uttered about the incident since it happened on national television, to the shock of the audience, viewers at home and the Academy.
The Academy’s Board of Governors met Wednesday to discuss what happened, and in that meeting revealed that Smith was asked to leave after he assaulted Rock — but he refused.
That bit of information likely came after the Academy was called out for “letting” Smith not only stay in the audience but return to the stage and share a speech for his Best Actor award win.
An Academy representative did not disclose the details of how Smith was approached or what measures were taken to try to remove him from the Dolby Theatre.
The situation surrounding Smith’s anger toward Rock stems from a G.I. Jane joke made by Rock about Smith’s wife. Jada Pinkett Smith has been open about shaving her head due to hair loss caused by alopecia, an auto-immune disorder.
Following the joke, in a moment that has turned into a video seen over and over and over around the world, Smith walked onstage and slapped Rock across the left side of his face -- shocking all who saw it happen.
He later returned to his seat but yelled to a stunned Rock to keep Jada’s name out of his mouth — to which Rock replied with a “wow!” and “ok.”
The board of governors meeting Wednesday aims to begin talks about what disciplinary actions the Academy could take against Smith for his behavior.
They said actions could include suspension, expulsion or other sanctions.
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