The Everybody Hates Chris alum, 57, returned to the Wilbur Theatre in Boston on Thursday, March 31, after performing on the same stage one day prior. According to multiple outlets, Rock didn’t want to engage after an audience member yelled, “F–k Will Smith,” during the Thursday show.
“No, no, no, no, no,” Rock replied before moving along with his routine.
The comedian’s comment comes days after he was slapped by Smith, 53, while presenting at the 94th annual Academy Awards on Sunday, March 27. After Rock made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith‘s shaved head, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air alum marched onto the stage and hit the Madagascar actor in the face. “Keep my wife’s name out your f–king mouth,” Smith shouted as he returned to his seat.
After landing in Massachusetts on Wednesday, March 30, Rock briefly broke his silence on the incident. “What’s up, Boston?” he began. “How was your weekend? … I’m still processing what happened.”
Us Weekly exclusively reported before the gig that Smith has not privately been in touch with Rock after the Oscars. During the show, the former Saturday Night Live cast member hinted, “I haven’t talked to anyone despite what you may have heard.”
Rock’s performance on Wednesday was “great,” an eyewitness told Us, noting that the crowd “laughed a lot and it really cut the tension.” After receiving a standing ovation, the Grown Ups actor said, “Y’all are getting me misty eyed and s–t.”
Smith’s behavior at the awards ceremony shocked viewers and attendees alike, with a source exclusively telling Us that the show’s staff was “scrambling” to move forward after the slap. During an interview on Friday, April 1, producer Will Packer opened up about the feeling inside of the Dolby Theatre once Smith left the stage.
“[The energy was] sucked completely out of it,” the 47-year-old told Good Morning America. “It was like somebody poured concrete in that room. It was this feeling of, ‘What just happened? Is this real? How am I supposed to react?’ So it sucked the life out of that room and it never came back.”
Packer went on to say that Rock salvaged the remainder of the show, adding, “Because Chris handled the moment with such grace and aplomb, it allowed the show to continue. … It was such a huge moment and such a sad and disappointing moment that it wasn’t something that we were gonna come back from within that night, within this week. I don’t know when we’ll come back and people will be talking about anything else other than this show.”
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences previously announced that a “formal review” of the situation would be conducted. Smith, for his part, issued a lengthy statement via social media on Monday, March 28, calling himself a “work in progress.”
The Will author continued, “I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.”