Photo: USA Today
Dave Chappelle is giving his take on Will Smith’s infamous Chris Rock slap at this year’s Oscars, breaking the iconic Hollywood persona the actor spent decades building.
While Chappelle and Rock were on a joint comedy tour in Liverpool, England, on Thursday, Chappelle stated, “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,” per The Telegraph report.
But the comedy star went on to say that he didn’t want Smith to put up a façade again.
“Whatever the consequences are… I hope he doesn’t put his mask back on again and lets his real face breathe,” Chappelle stated, noting, “I see myself in both men.”
Furthermore, Chappelle joked that during Smith’s slap of Rock, before earning one of Hollywood’s most coveted accolades, he acted like he was in his hometown.
“A lot of people forget who Will Smith is,” he stated. “The 10 minutes before he was about to get the biggest award… he acted like he was back in Philadelphia.”
Smith won Best Actor after slapping Rock, who joked about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, being bald. (Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia.)
The actor won an Oscar for portraying Richard Williams, father of Venus and Serena Williams, in King Richard.
Read also: Chris Rock Declines Offer from the Academy to Host Oscars 2023
Chappelle Can be Right
In an emotional acceptance speech, he expressed his apologies to the Academy for the slapping incident and tried to explain his actions.
“Love will make you do crazy things,” he said. However, there was no mention of Rock’s name.
Merely days after the incident, Smith expressed his apologies to Rock on social media and withdrew from the Academy. He also posted a video showing him talking about the controversy in July.
On Thursday during the show, Rock also mentioned the incident, allegedly saying Smith “hit me over a bulls— joke, the nicest joke I ever told.”
The comic, 57, has refused to speak about the incident much. However, he did say last month that he was recruited to host the Oscars for next year, and he rejected it.
In May, Rock attended the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, where Chappelle was also attacked on stage.
Thursday was the first of three UK shows on Chappelle and Rock’s tour.
Read also: Will Smith Sees his Career ‘Going Away’ Before the Slapping Incident at Oscars