After Smith broke his silence about the Oscars slap in a video on Friday — apologizing to Rock and saying he’s “here whenever you’re ready to talk” — the word back seems to be that Smith shouldn’t hold his breath.
“Chris has no plans to reach out to Will,” a source told Entertainment Tonight on Monday. The insider went on to question the timing of Smith’s video, suggesting it was more to help himself, adding, “He needs the public’s forgiveness, not Chris.”
A People magazine source had a similar party line, saying, “Chris doesn’t need to talk. This is clearly something that bothers Will more than Chris. Will needs to deal with his issues. Chris is fine.”
A second person told that outlet, “The fact that [Rock] is making jokes about it already is a good thing. That means he is assessing it. But the stress of the slap and the aftermath has not taken over his life. Quite the opposite.”
It’s true — Rock has been referencing the March 27 incident in his Ego Death World Tour, which kicked off on the heels of the Oscars. In May, he made remarks about getting his “hearing back” after being “punched in the face.” This past weekend, while performing in Atlanta, Rock referred to the King Richard actor as “Suge Smith.” Marion “Suge” Knight, Death Row Records founder, has a long history of violence — is currently incarcerated.
Since these Rock sources have been whispering to the entertainment news outlets, Smith sources have been as well to make it clear the video wasn’t merely a publicity stunt.
“There was no rhyme or reason to it other than time had passed, work had been done, the same questions had been bubbling up and also people were really wanting to hear from him,” an insider told People. “There was just a general feeling that it’s time and he’s at a place where he had more things he wanted to say.”
The person said Smith is “deeply remorseful, he is still doing a lot of work and he’s also human and made a mistake. He’s going to move forward with the same positivity that he always had.”
Meanwhile Us Weekly suggested that Jada Pinkett Smith was a driving force behind the video. She, of course, was the target of Rock’s G.I. Jane joke on Oscars night, sparking Smith to storm the stage to slap and curse out an unsuspecting Rock who reportedly didn’t know she had alopecia.
Smith “never wanted to” publicly apologize, that outlet claimed, but Pinkett Smith has “been pushing Will to apologize because it has become this really dark cloud over her Red Table Talk series” due to people looking for “any mention of that moment” on her show. Smith’s team “hoped that the controversy would die down, but it just hasn’t” and it had become “impossible for him to move forward successfully unless he [addressed it],” that insider claimed.
Reps for Rock and Smith have not responded to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment.
On Friday, Smith dropped the video, answering what he said were fan questions about the incident. In it, he said to Rock, “My behavior was unacceptable, and I’m here whenever you’re ready to talk.” He also denied that Pinkett Smith encouraged the slap. “I made a choice on my own from my own experiences, from my history with Chris,” he said. “Jada had nothing to do with it.”
Smith awkwardly won the Best Actor shortly after his outburst on Oscars night, not apologizing to Rock in his speech. He then went out to the Oscars parties and celebrated his win. He said on Friday that after the slap, he was “fogged out” and the rest of the night was “fuzzy.”
The day after the slap, Smith posted an apology on Instagram, saying he was “out of line” for hitting Rock, but said the joke about “Jada’s medical condition” upset him. Amid an investigation into the events of that night, Smith resigned from the Academy days later, issuing another statement calling his behavior “inexcusable.” A week later, the organization banned him from the Oscars and other events for 10 years.
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