In 2016, Chris Rock, the host of the 88th Academy Awards ceremony, made a joke about Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith boycotting the Oscars due to the lack of diversity among its nominees. Rock quipped, “Jada said she’s not coming. It’s also not fair that Will is this good and didn’t get nominated. You’re right. It’s also not fair that Will was paid $20 million for Wild Wild West!”
While this joke was met with laughter, it seems that it may have caused some tension between Rock and Smith. According to a recent report from The Hollywood Reporter, Rock never received a private apology from Smith after the incident.
During a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Rock shared that he didn’t hear from Smith after the show. “I actually never heard from him,” Rock revealed. “I guess he was upset.”
Rock went on to clarify that he didn’t believe Smith was genuinely upset with him. “He wasn’t upset. Jada was,” Rock explained. “Jada was like, ‘You gotta do something about this. You’re the host.’”
Despite not receiving a private apology from Smith, Rock shared that he did speak to the actor at a later date and everything seemed to be fine between them. “I talked to Will like a couple of weeks ago. Everything’s cool,” Rock said.
This report may come as a surprise to some, as it was widely assumed that Smith and Rock were on good terms both before and after the Oscars debacle. Smith had even tweeted out his support for Rock prior to the show, writing, “I stand with you @chrisrock #blackout #oscarsowhite.”
Regardless of whether or not Smith ever apologized to Rock privately, the two seem to have moved past any potential issues. Smith is set to star in the upcoming drama film “King Richard,” which is being produced by Rock. The film tells the story of Richard Williams, the father of tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams.
In the end, it seems that while the Oscars joke may have caused some brief tension between Rock and Smith, their relationship remains strong. And to be fair, Smith likely had a lot on his mind at the time, what with his wife boycotting the Oscars and all. Perhaps he just didn’t have the time or energy to extend a private apology to Rock. Whatever the case may be, it’s clear that both parties have put the incident behind them and are focused on moving forward.
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