Chris Rock briefly addressed the Will Smith slap during his Boston comedy show, just hours after the Academy revealed that disciplinary proceedings have begun for the Best Actor winner.
According to TMZ, when Rock took the stage at the Wilbur theater last night, he was greeted by a standing ovation from a sold-out crowd. However, the comedian was prepared to disappoint anyone who showed up to hear about the Oscar incident.
He said, "I don't have a bunch of s*** about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend. I'm still kind of processing what happened," adding, "So, at some point, I'll talk about that s***. And it will be serious and funny."
Although Rock was not yet prepared to discuss the incident, Oscar co-host Wanda Sykes told Ellen Degeneres on Wednesday that the incident was “gross” and that she was “still traumatized” by it.
Sykes said, “For them to let him stay in that room and enjoy the rest of the show and accept his award…. I was like, ‘How gross is this? This is just the wrong message. You assault somebody, you get escorted out of the building, and that’s it. But for them to let him continue, I thought it was gross. I wanted to be able run out after he won and say, ‘Unfortunately, Will couldn’t be here tonight…’
Deadline reports that a member of the Academy’s top leadership did ask the King Richard star’s rep to have him leave the awards show.
The Academy said of the incident, “While we would like to clarify that Mr. Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused, we also recognize we could have handled the situation differently.”
The outlet also reports that disciplinary proceedings have begun for the former Fresh Prince. The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Scientists' Board of Governors ruled Wednesday (March 30th), “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.”
Smith will be given “the opportunity to be heard beforehand by means of a written response.”
There was also a fan removed from Rock's show last night: