Rosalie “Rose” Rock, Chris Rock’s mother, called out Will Smith for slapping her son during the Oscars telecast in an interview with a South Carolina TV station.
In an interview with NBC affiliate WIS of Columbia on Friday, Rose Rock said the slap didn’t hurt only her son.
“When he slapped Chris, he slapped all of us,” she said, telling the station, “He really slapped me.”
Smith slapped Chris Rock after Rock made a joke at the expense of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Rock alluded to Pinkett Smith’s appearing in a new “G.I. Jane” movie because of her closely buzzed haircut.
Pinkett Smith has alopecia, an autoimmune disorder that causes a person’s hair to fall out.
The joke triggered Smith to walk up to the stage and strike Rock.
“You reacted to your wife giving you the side-eye and you went and made her day because she was mulled over laughing when it happened,” Rose Rock said of the moment.
She went on to say that her son had been eager to present Questlove, who won an Oscar for the documentary “Summer of Soul,” and that the slap ruined the moment.
“No one even heard his speech. No one was able to just be in the moment, because everyone was sitting there like, ‘What just happened?’” she said.
Rose Rock said she reached out to her son after the Oscars, although she could do so only from a distance because she was not in attendance. She told her son she was proud of how he handled the night.
Since then, Smith, who won an Oscar for his performance in “King Richard,” has resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and, later, the organization decided it would suspend him from attending the ceremony for 10 years.
“The Board has decided, for a period of 10 years from April 8, 2022, Mr. Smith shall not be permitted to attend any Academy events or programs, in person or virtually, including but not limited to the Academy Awards,” the organization said in a statement at the time.
Rock lightly addressed the slap in his first comedy show days after the Oscars, saying he would eventually give a full statement about it.
“I’m still kind of processing what happened,” he told a sold-out crowd at The Wilbur in Boston on March 30.
Kalhan Rosenblatt is a reporter covering youth and internet culture for NBC News, based in New York.