Dave Chappelle Speaks Out on Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock

Dave Chapelle and Chris Rock are currently on a joint comedy tour across the pond, meaning it was just a matter of time before the former talked about the infamous 2022 Oscars slap. In a recent stop in Liverpool, Chapelle said Will Smith—the Oscar-winning actor that slapped presenter Rock—finally showed the world who he was.

"Will did the impression of a perfect person for 30 years, and he ripped his mask off and showed us he was as ugly as the rest of us," Chapelle reportedly said in his standup set according to The Telegraph. "Whatever the consequences are… I hope he doesn't put his mask back on again, and lets his real face breathe. I see myself in both men." 

Since the slap, Rock has been offered the hosting gig for the 2023 awards gala (although he turned it down) while Smith has been barred from attending any Oscars-related events for the foreseeable future.

While it took Smith a few months to apologize, the actor took to his social media platforms in July to offer an extended apology to both Rock and the Academy.

"It's all fuzzy. I've reached out to Chris and the message that came back is he is not ready to talk," Smith said in his YouTube apology. "And when he is, he will reach out. So, I will say to you Chris, I apologize to you. My behavior was unacceptable and I'm here whenever you're ready to talk." 

"I want to apologize to Chris's mother. I saw an interview that Chris's mother did, and that was one of the things about that moment," the actor. "I didn't realize and I wasn't thinking [about] how many people got hurt in that moment. I want to apologize to Chris's mother, I want to apologize to Chris's family, specifically Tony Rock. We had a great relationship. Tony Rock was my man, and this is probably irreparable."

He then went on to note he's been working on himself as his actions were entirely his own decision and had nothing to do with his wife's reaction to Rock's joke.

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"I spent the last three months replaying and understanding the nuances and the complexities of what happened in that moment," Smith continued. "And I'm not going to try to unpack all of that right now, but I can say to all of you [that] there is no part of me that thinks that was the right way to behave in that moment. There's no part of me that thinks that's the optimal way to handle a feeling of disrespect or insults."