Chris Rock Reportedly Has A Brilliant Tactic To Avoid Talking About The Will Smith Oscar Slap

Following Will Smith and Chris Rock's infamous altercation at the 2022 Academy Awards, fans were eager to hear the two stars weigh in on the incident. Smith wasted little time trying to save face with an apology released via Instagram the day after the Oscars. "I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong," the "Bad Boys" star wrote.

When Rock took the stage for the first time since The Slap, fans wanted him to address the altercation. "I hope he leads [his set] with the whole situation, and he can find the humor in it," an audience member who attended Rock's comedy show in Boston on March 29 told Variety. Only days removed from the notorious hit, Rock was still hesitant to discuss — let alone joke — about the matter. "I'm still kind of processing what happened. So, at some point I'll talk about that s***. And it will be serious and funny," he told the crowd.

A few days later, as Rock's comedy tour continued, he started to make light jokes about the Oscars fiasco. During his show on April 2, someone yelled, "F*** Will Smith!" and was promptly removed. "Where were y'all at the Oscars?" Rock joked to security, per Entertainment Tonight. When another heckler yelled the same thing, the "Top Five" star simply replied, "No, no, no." Rock ultimately grew tired of the incessant Smith-related questions and eventually developed an ingenious way of dealing with them.

How Chris Rock blocks out the noise

Seemingly wherever Chris Rock went after the Will Smith slap, he encountered people who wanted to question him about the jaw-dropping moment. In order to dissuade both fans and media from pestering him, Rock started sporting large headphones when he went for walks. "It looks like he's listening to music, but it's just so that nobody approaches him," a source told Page Six on April 27. The "Tamborine" comic's strategy of handling hecklers continued to evolve as he effortlessly deflected one person who yelled, "We won't slap you" on April 26. "Chris is a veteran. He made light of it and moved on," a member of the audience told Page Six.

Earlier in the month, Rock made it clear that he would not fully discuss the Smith incident until the price was right. "I have a whole show and I'm not talking about that until I get paid," he said, while performing in California on April 8, per the Desert Sun

Even though the comedian remained mum on the subject, his mother Rose Rock spoke to the press about the Oscars debacle. "[W]hen he slapped Chris, he slapped all of us ... he really slapped me," she told WIS News in an interview on April 22. Rock's mother noted she felt the "King Richard" actor had not truly made amends with her son. "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," she said.