Like most viewers who saw the Oscars, Rose Rock wasn’t sure just what happened during the most infamous moment of this year’s Academy Awards.
But when she saw her son slapped on national TV, she felt the impact.
Rose Rock is the mom of comedian Chris Rock, who was slapped by actor Will Smith after a joke he made about Jada Pinkett-Smith, who is Will Smith’s wife.
“[W]hen he slapped Chris, he slapped all of us,” Rock said Friday, according to WIS-TV.
“He really slapped me,” said the native of Andrews, South Carolina.
Rock’s mother offered her take on what Will Smith was all about on that evening.
Speaking for the first time abt Will Smith slapping her son, she says “when he slapped Chris, he slapped all of us, he really slapped me.”
— Judi Gatson (@JudiGatson) April 22, 2022
“You reacted to your wife giving you the side-eye and you went and made her day because she was bowled over laughing when it happened,” she said.
Rose Rock said she did not attend the ceremony and was watching from home. As with many viewers, she wondered briefly if the slap was some bit of byplay between her son and Smith.
A portion of the interview is below:
She said knew better once Will smith “started using obscenities.”
Her comedian son had been excited to present an Oscar that night, but the moment he looked forward to was stolen.
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“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.
She said it was a difficult moment, calling it “a hard thing for a mother.”
She said if she spoke to Smith, she would ask, “What in the world were you thinking?”
She said there were few good options available to discipline Smith.
— TIME (@TIME) March 28, 2022
“I wouldn’t take his award away, and I don’t see any good way they could have taken him out without disrupting,” she said.
Rose Rock said Smith’s lack of any sincere apology hurts.
“I feel really bad that he never apologized,” Rock said. “I mean, his people wrote up a piece saying ‘I apologize to Chris Rock,’ but you see, something like that is personal, you reach out.”