It seems that Will Smith is eager to move on from the most embarrassing incident of his career.
But Chris Rock is understandably less willing to let bygones be bygones.
Rock was, after all, the one who was assaulted in front of an audience of millions for the crime of telling an insensitive joke.
The nature of Rock’s offending comment, as well as his response to Smith’s apology are both making tabloid headlines today, as Slapgate remains Hollywood’s number one controversy.
In case you somehow missed it, Smith stormed the stage and slapped Rock after getting offended by a joke the comic made about Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
“Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can’t wait to see it,” Rock said to the Smiths in reference to Jada’s shaved head.
Jada suffers from alopecia areata, which is the medical term for partial hair loss.
She had reportedly shaved her head as a response to this condition, but Rock was apparently under the condition that she had done so as an aesthetic choice.
Yes, according to a new report from TMZ, Chris was not aware of Jada’s alopecia.
Sources close to Rock say that he was simply doing what comedians have always done when performing “crowd work” — looking out at the front row and making observations about the people who are seated there.
It’s an Oscars tradition that goes back decades, with the feeling that the most attractive, fortunate, and privileged people on the planet should probably be able to laugh at themselves on occasion.
Smith issued an apology on Monday night, but despite reports to the contrary, it seems that he and Rock have not spoken.
TMZ reports that Rock left the venue shortly after he appeared on stage, and he and Smith “have not buried the hatchet.”
Apparently, it was always Chris’ plan to not hang around after he was finished performing, and his departure was likely hastened by the fact that he had been assaulted, and the attacker had been allowed to retake his seat.
Rock chose not to press charges against Smith, but many were surprised that the actor did not suffer any professional consequences, such as being asked to leave the venue.
The Academy’s decision not to act was likely at least partially motivated by the fact that Smith was considered a shoo-in to win the night’s Best Actor prize (which he did), further evidence that powerful men in Hollywood can still do pretty much whatever they want without fear of suffering consequences.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” Smith wrote in his apology to Rock, which was posted on the actor’s Instagram page.
“Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally,” he continued.
“I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong.”
Insiders say Chris was left “shaken and bewildered” by the assault, and backstage, many were surprised that Smith did not take immediate action to address the situation.
Sources close to Rock say the comedian “doesn’t have a mean bone in his body” and had no idea about Jada’s condition.
We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.