Chris Rock: ‘Anyone who says “words hurt” has never been punched in the face’

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Chris Rock opened his first UK show since the Oscars with a joke about being slapped by Will Smith.

At the Academy Awards six weeks ago, Smith jumped up on stage to slap Rock after the comedian joked about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved haircut. Pinkett Smith’s shaved haircut is due to her alopecia.

According to multiple media reports, as he arrived on stage at London’s Royal Albert Hall last night (12 May), Rock said: “I’m OK, if anybody was wondering. I got most of my hearing back and I’m trying to make a decent show.”

Explaining that he had no intention of dedicating any more of his show to the incident, he added: “People expect me to talk about the bulls***, I’m not going to talk about it right now, I’ll get to it eventually. On Netflix.”

He did nod to it once more though, while talking about how easily people take offence, saying “Anyone who says ‘words hurt’ has never been punched in the face.”

Following the altercation in March, Smith apologised and resigned from the Academy on 1 April.

The moment Smith slapped Rock (Getty Images)
The moment Smith slapped Rock (Getty Images)

On 8 April, the Academy moved to ban Smith from Oscars ceremonies for the next 10 years.

Rock’s mother Rose recently said that it felt like Smith physically hurt her when he slapped her son. “When you hurt my child, you hurt me,” she said.