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WIS EXCLUSIVE: Chris Rock’s mom reacts to Oscars slap, “when Will slapped Chris, he slapped all of us.”

Published: Apr. 22, 2022 at 6:01 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 22, 2022 at 6:48 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Rose Rock is a motivational speaker, family and youth advocate, author, and mother of comedian Chris Rock. Rock, a native of Andrews, South Carolina was in Columbia today delivering motivational speeches to high schools in Columbia before stopping by ‘Soda City Live.’

In an exclusive, one-on-one interview with WIS’ Billie Jean Shaw, for the first time ever, Rock spoke out about the shocking incident when her son Chris Rock was slapped on live television by actor Will Smith, after Chris Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s hair. Pinkett-Smith is the wife of Will Smith.

“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,” Rock said.

Rock says this is the one year she did not attend the Oscars and was watching the ceremony at home when her son was slapped in front of millions. She told our Billie Jean Shaw, at first, she thought the slap was staged, until " he [WIll] started using obscenities.” She went on to say, “when he slapped Chris, he slapped all of us,” Rock said, adding “he really slapped me.”

According to Rock, her son Chris Rock was very excited to give Questlove his Academy Award, and because of Smith, that moment was taken away.

“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 the only thing she could do from home was reach out, and tell him she was proud of how he reacted. Which, as a mother, was hard to do.

Rock said so many things could have happened at that moment, stating Chris could have stepped back and fallen or Smith could have even been taken out in handcuffs.

Earlier this month, The Academy announced Will Smith has been banned from attending the Oscars 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,” Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson said in a statement earlier this month.

When asked about how the Academy handled the situation Rock said, “I wouldn’t take his award away, and I don’t see any good way they could have taken him out without disrupting.” However, the Hollywood mom did say the lack of apology from Will Smith for his actions has hurt her. “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.”

Follow Billie Jean Shaw on Instagram @BillieJeanTV and on Facebook at Billie Jean Shaw.

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