Will Smith’s controversy at the 2022 Oscars is far from over. After slapping comedian and best documentary presenter Chris Rock for making a G.I. Jane joke about Jada Pinkett Smith during the ceremony, Smith has since apologized for his actions — but that doesn’t mean Rock’s brother Kenny is buying it.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times published Monday (April 4), Kenny shared that he thinks Smith’s apology was nothing more than a PR move. “No, I don’t accept it because I don’t think it was genuine,” he said. “I think his publicist and the people that work under him probably advised him to do that.” (Another of Rock’s other brothers, Tony, also said he does not accept Smith’s apology and said the entire fiasco was “foul.”)
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He continued, “I might have looked at it differently had he initially apologized when he got on the stage and cried and accepted the award, but he didn’t, so, right there that tells me that it is something else.”
As for the joke that set Smith off — which resulted in him angrily telling Rock to “keep my wife’s name out your f–king mouth” after the slap — Kenny thought his brother Chris’ joke was in good humor.
“The joke was funny,” Kenny Rock said. “It wasn’t hilarious funny, but I know that if he knew that she had alopecia … he wouldn’t make a joke about that. But he didn’t know.”
As for Smith remaining in the ceremony after slapping Rock, and later accepting the best actor award for his role in King Richard? Kenny (as well as other celebrities in attendance) believes that was a misstep on the Academy’s part.
“He should have been escorted out of there,” he said. “I hold them accountable for that. He could have gone up there and did anything you wanted to my brother. It could have been much worse than what he did.” Kenny added that Smith “belittled my brother. He had no respect for him. … In my opinion, he embarrassed himself by doing that and his legacy by doing that.”
Kenny also told the paper that he believes Smith should not only have his Oscar taken away, but also to ban him from attending future Academy Awards ceremonies.
Chris Rock has yet to fully address the incident, but during a March 30 stand-up show in Boston, he said he is “still kind of processing what happened. So at some point, I’ll talk about that s–t. And it will be serious and funny.”
Smith resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on April 1. The Academy’s board is set to meet April 18 to decide on what sanctions to take against the star.
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