Chris Rock Addresses Will Smith Oscars Controversy for First Time at Comedy Show: 'I Am Still Processing'
By Mona Khalifeh
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Chris Rock is back onstage and back to telling jokes after getting slapped by Will Smith at the Oscars on Sunday. Rock performed two shows at the Wilbur Theatre in Boston on Wednesday night to a sold-out crowd.
Rock was met with a standing ovation once he entered the stage. After taking a seat, the crowd stood up again and did a second standing ovation in support of the comedian, ET can confirm.
"Sit down I have jokes to tell, and now you’re making me misty eyed," an overwhelmed Rock said to the crowd.
Rock began his set by asking the crowd how their weekend was, but as far as addressing Sunday night’s incident, it wasn’t going to happen at Wednesday night’s show.
"I have a whole show… that I wrote before the weekend, so, if you came here for that I'm still processing it," Rock shared.
"I will talk about it, and it will be serious, and it will be funny, but not tonight," he continued.
ET has learned that Rock started the day with a workout at a gym near his hotel in Boston and that many of the biggest names in Hollywood have reached out to the comedian and have been checking in on him since Sunday night's incident.
What's more, extra security was added for his Wednesday show in Boston, but it's unclear if that will continue on the remainder of his ongoing stand-up comedy tour.
As for Smith, ET has learned that while he has publicly apologized to both the Academy and Rock, there has not been a reconciliation between the pair and the two have not spoken.
The 57-year-old comic kept a mostly low-profile, rocking gray sweatpants and a white shirt under a thick blue snow jacket. Rock appeared stone-faced as he kept his head lowered while sporting a dark ball cap.
He is set to perform six shows at the Wilbur Theatre including his two shows on Wednesday. Not only have the tickets sold out, but prices for tickets on the secondary market have reportedly skyrocketed following the Oscars incident, according to The Philadelphia Inquirer.
Rock was presenting the Oscar for Best Documentary on Sunday when he made a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Rock quipped, "Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see it." (Pinkett Smith has been open about her struggles with alopecia, an autoimmune disorder which causes bald spots and hair loss.)
Moments later, Smith walked onto the stage and slapped him in the mouth. Smith then walked offstage and cursed at Rock from his seat, yelling, "Leave my wife's name out of your f**king mouth."
Shortly after the altercation, Smith was awarded the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in King Richard. Smith -- who was comforted by Denzel Washington, Tyler Perry and Bradley Cooper after the incident -- emotionally apologized to the Academy during his speech, though he didn't apologize to Rock at the time. Smith took to social media to apologize publicly to Rock on Monday.
Following Sunday night's show, the LAPD said they were aware of the incident but that Rock had declined to press charges. The Academy has also launched a formal review of the incident and said in a letter released Wednesday afternoon that The Board of Governors have initiated disciplinary proceedings against Smith for violations of the Academy’s Standards of Conduct.
The King Richard actor will have 15 days’ notice of a vote regarding his violations and sanctions, and the opportunity to be heard beforehand by means of a written response. At the next board meeting on April 18, the Academy may take any disciplinary action, which may include suspension, expulsion, or other sanctions permitted by the Bylaws and Standards of Conduct.
In an earlier statement the Academy said that it may take a few weeks to reach decision regarding a course of action for the actor.