Fact Check

Did Chris Rock Apologize to Will Smith?

Will Smith issued a formal apology to Chris Rock, but did Rock do the same?

Published March 29, 2022

 (Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images)
Image Via Myung Chun / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Chris Rock issued an apology to Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith after an incident at the Oscars.

No, Chris Rock has not apologized to Will Smith. That viral piece of text you may have seen was written by a random Facebook user who said that the text was "just how I would've handled it."

On March 28, 2022, the day after Smith slapped Rock on stage at the Oscars after Rock made a joke about Smith's wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith, Facebook user Cris Cris posted a piece of text claiming to be "Chris Rock’s statement regarding last night’s Academy Awards #Oscars."

This is not a statement from Rock. This is one person's idea of what Rock should've said after he was slapped by Smith. In the comments below this post, Cris Cris wrote: "This is just how I would’ve handled it."

The fake statement reads in full:

“As a comedian it can be difficult to understand which lines are to be crossed and which ones aren’t. Last night I crossed a line that I shouldn’t have and paid the enormous price of my reputation as a renown comedian. Comedy is never about poking fun at or making lite of people with major ordeals happening in their lives. Comedy is about using real life circumstances to create laughter and bring light to an otherwise dark world. With that said, I sincerely apologize to my friends Jada Pinkett-Smith, Will Smith, and the rest of the Smith family for the disrespect and disregard I displayed which was unfortunately broadcast for the world to see. I hope that, with time, forgiveness can come of this situation and we can all be better, more considerate people in the end.” - Chris Rock

But Rock did not issue an apology to the Smith family. In fact, the comedian was the one who received an apology.

On March 28, Smith, who won the Oscar for Best Actor a few minutes after he slapped Rock, posted an apology on Instagram stating that his "behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable," that "violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive," and that his behavior was out of line.

Smith wrote on Instagram:

Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.

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. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.

I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us.

I am a work in progress.

While Rock has reportedly declined to press charges against Smith, the Academy said that they condemned Smith's actions and that they were launching a review into the incident. You can see an uncensored clip of this viral Oscar moment below.


A second fake apology from Rock to Smith was also shared online. While the following post includes Rock's photo and handle @chrisrock, this message was not posted to Rock's Twitter account. If you look closely near the bottom of this image (below the date and above the retweet counter), you can see a watermark for r/totallyrealtweets, a section of Reddit dedicated to totally fake tweets.

The second fake apology falsely attributed to Rock reads: "I'd like to offer a sincere apology to Will and Jada. Making light of her struggle with alopecia was perhaps tasteless, so let me just say that I'm sorry. I didn't realize that Will has such a hair-trigger temper, but that doesn't excuse my behavior and that's the bald truth."


Bacardi, Francesca. “Will Smith, Chris Rock to Work out Slap Incident after Oscars 2022.” Page Six, 28 Mar. 2022, https://pagesix.com/2022/03/27/will-smith-chris-rock-to-work-out-slap-incident-after-oscars-2022/.

“Chris Rock’s Joke About Jada Pinkett Smith Didn’t Go Over Well at the Oscars — What Did He Say?” Distractify, 28 Mar. 2022, https://www.distractify.com/p/what-did-chris-rock-say-about-jada-smith.

France, Lisa Respers. “Will Smith and Chris Rock Have a History That Predates the Oscars Slap.” CNN, https://www.cnn.com/2022/03/28/entertainment/chris-rock-will-smith-history/index.html. Accessed 29 Mar. 2022.

Juneau, Jen, and 2022 10:52 Pm. “Will Smith Smacks Chris Rock in the Face at 2022 Oscars After Rock Jokes About Jada Pinkett’s Hair.” PEOPLE.Com, https://people.com/movies/oscars-2022-will-smith-slaps-chris-rock-jada-pinkett-smith-hair-joke-gi-jane/. Accessed 29 Mar. 2022.

Jurgensen, John. “Will Smith’s Oscars Slap of Chris Rock Prompts One-Liners and Worry From Comedians.” Wall Street Journal, 29 Mar. 2022. www.wsj.com, https://www.wsj.com/articles/will-smith-chris-rock-comedians-oscars-slap-11648500426.

Stevens, Matt. “Will Smith Hits Chris Rock after Joke about His Wife, Jada.” The New York Times, 28 Mar. 2022. NYTimes.com, https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/27/movies/will-smith-chris-rock-oscars.html.

Dan Evon is a former writer for Snopes.

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