Chris Rock Casually Burned Will Smith In His Latest Comedy Show

The drama between Will Smith and Chris Rock runs deep. As fans know, the pair made headlines in late March during the Oscars. Rock appeared onstage to present an award but cracked a few jokes before, including one about Jada Pinkett Smith's "G.I. Jane 2" haircut. Post-joke, Smith stormed the stage, slapped Rock, and shouted at Rock to keep his wife's name out of his mouth. It was a tense moment, and Smith has been experiencing backlash over it ever since.

Though the actor took home the Oscar for his work in "King Richard," his reputation took a big hit. The day after the incident, Smith took to Instagram to apologize for his actions. "​​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," he wrote on Instagram. "There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness." Some people, like Rock's brother, don't feel as though Smith's apology was genuine, and things probably won't settle for a while. 

Many of Smith's projects are on hold for the time being now, and the Academy has launched an investigation into the incident. Per The Hollywood Reporter, the Academy plans to "explore further action and consequences in accordance with our Bylaws, Standards of Conduct and California law." It will be interesting to see if they strip the actor of his Oscar. But how's Rock faring in the aftermath of this altercation?

Chris Rock jokes about being too close to Will Smith

Slowly but surely, Chris Rock is opening up about the Oscars incident with Will Smith. During his first comedy show after #SlapGate, Rock told the audience that he was still processing what happened to him onstage, and he would talk about it once he's ready. The comedian is still performing on his tour and made a stop in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in early April. As one fan told Us Weekly, Rock started his set by joking about the "interesting" week he had, obviously referring to the viral Oscars moment.

Rock also cracked another joke, as he seemed to ease into giving his side of the story. "He made a joke about how Atlantic City is too close to Philly for him to get into it," an insider at the show revealed. "The general vibe of the comment was that Atlantic City could be hostile territory because it's so close to Philly. It was said in a casual joking way and everyone laughed." According to Vivid Seats, Rock's Ego Death Tour will play through November. He's seen a spike in ticket sales following the Oscars.

On Smith's side, things don't seem to be going as well for him. The incident has spawned a lot of negative headlines for the actor, leaving some to wonder if his career will ever recover. After all, Smith has since announced his resignation from the Academy, stating that he was "heartbroken" over what transpired.

Will Smith's career could be up in the air

Will Smith's career is in uncharted territory after rushing the stage and slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Academy Awards. Though Smith is certainly not the first actor to face national controversy, he is the latest to find himself in the middle of such a divisive one. Within hours of the incident, Twitter was overflowing with opinions from both sides of the aisle. There were those who thought Smith was in the right to defend his wife, and those who thought he was way out of line.

As of right now, Smith got to keep his award, seemingly on the condition that he resign his place within the academy. As mentioned above, Smith has a number of films set to begin production or to be released in 2022. "Bad Boys 4" has already been paused indefinitely, per The Hollywood Reporter. Smith's highly anticipated "Emancipation," in which he plays a freed slave, is also up in the air. "A big indicator of how tarnished Will Smith's reputation is when we see what Apple decides to do with ['Emancipation']," Sharon Waxman, editor-in-chief of The Wrap, told the BBC. "If they decide to push it [back], I think that'll give you some strong sense of, they don't want to be out in the marketplace with Will Smith this year."

At this point, it seems impossible for Smith and Rock to fully leave the issue behind them without properly addressing it in a more public forum.

Will Smith and Chris Rock haven't settled the issue yet

As much as Will Smith and Chris Rock likely wish they could put their 2022 Oscar drama to bed, that doesn't seem like a possibility just yet. The actor and comedian will have to field questions and navigate commentary about the issue for months to come.

For his part, within days of the slap, Smith announced he would be appearing on his wife's, Jada Pinkett Smith, talk show "Red Table Talk," to discuss the incident as a family, per Radar Online. Rock will likely talk about the slap through his upcoming comedy specials. Though he joked that he wasn't ready to talk about it during his Atlantic City set, the comedian has made it clear he isn't ready to have any big conversations about that night.

"I don't have a bunch of s**t about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I had like a whole show I wrote before this weekend," Rock reportedly said during a Boston set, per CNN. "And I'm still kind of processing what happened, so at some point I'll talk about that s**t," he continued. And it'll be serious and it'll be funny, but right now I'm going to tell some jokes." We're just hoping Rock is ready to talk in time to join the Smiths on "Red Table Talk."