Chris Rock Says He Turned Down Sit-Down Interview With Oprah Winfrey After Oscars Slap

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Don't expect Chris Rock to be opening up about the infamous Oscars slap anytime soon. ET spoke with January Harrison, founder of January Designs and Creations, who was in attendance at Rock's show in Phoenix on Sunday, where she said he not only discussed the incident between him and Will Smith at the 2022 Academy Awards, but was adamant about not speaking publicly about the slap.

As many will remember, it was at the Academy Awards that Smith slapped Rock in the face after he made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith before presenting the award for Best Documentary Feature. 

Harrison said that Rock told the audience that Oprah Winfrey asked him to do a sit-down interview with her to discuss the incident, but he declined.

"During the evening, he did describe that he declined an offer to go onto Oprah to do to a sit-down interview and even a Super Bowl commercial with Will Smith himself," Harrison shared. "He said, 'You are not gonna see me on any interviews crying my heart out about this. I am not going to be a victim.'"

Overall, Harrison said the audience seemed pleased that Rock discussed the Oscars slap, adding, "I think we were all wondering if he was going to talk about that incident or not.”

Rock also revealed Sunday that he was also offered the role of host at next year's Oscars. According to multiple eyewitnesses, Rock, who has hosted the awards show twice -- once in 2005 and again in 2016 -- told the audience that he was asked to host next year's show, but refused.

"Chris Rock said he was asked to host next year's Academy Awards at his Sunday night show at Arizona Financial Theatre, and that he refused the offer," one eyewitness shared. "He also noted that he was offered the chance to do a Super Bowl commercial that he also declined."

The eyewitness also told ET that Rock compared hosting the Oscars to returning to the scene of a crime, referencing the murder trial of O.J. Simpson, who was accused of killing his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.

"Chris joked that returning to the Oscars would be like returning to the scene of the crime and said that it would be similar to asking Nicole Brown Simpson to go back to the Italian restaurant where she left her glasses," the eyewitness added.

He continued to make light of the incident, though he did admit that getting hit by Smith hurt, a lot more than words do. Calling Smith "Suge Smith," another eyewitness said Rock talked about the incident for "a few minutes in a joking way" but kept his references to it "short and classy."

On July 29, Smith shared a deeply personal video message to social media in which he apologized to Rock and the comedian's family, as well as his own family and friends, for the now-infamous Oscars slap scandal.

He also revealed that he had reached out to Rock. However, "the message that came back," Smith said, was that the comedian was not ready to talk and would reach out when he is. 

It seems like Smith may be waiting a while, with a source telling ET following Smith's apology, that Rock has no plans to speak with the King Richard star.

The source said that Smith would love nothing more than for Rock to publicly accept his apology, but Smith will have to wait on it.  

"Chris has no plans to reach out to Will," said the source, who also believes that the timing of the apology is more for Smith's best interest. "He needs the public's forgiveness, not Chris'." 

While Rock is hitting the stage for his ongoing comedy tour, the awards show stage is not one he's ready to step back on. In fact, this isn't the first awards show opportunity Rock has turned down. Last month, ET learned that the comedian declined an offer to host the 2022 Emmy Awards

The source revealed that Rock was approached to host this year's Emmy's but turned down the job. "He's in the middle of his tour and is preparing for the taping of his comedy special, which will be taping this fall," the source said.

But that's not all. The source added that Rock is "over" Hollywood and is hoping to travel and lie low after his comedy tour.

For more on Rock, check out the video below.


Will Smith Feels 'Less Ashamed' After Video Apology

Chris Rock Has 'No Plans' to Reach Out to Will Smith, Source Says

Chris Rock Jokes 'Suge Smith' Smacked Him After Will Smith's Apology

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