Behind the Scenes of Chris Rock's Life 1 Month After Oscars Slap

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Chris Rock is focusing on his work amid all the conversation around the incident between him and Will Smith at the 2022 Oscars.

Chris was presenting at the 94th annual awards show last month, when Will Smith got up out of his seat, walked up to Chris onstage and slapped him in the face. Will physically confronted the comedian after Chris made a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head, after pointing to her from the stage and saying, "Jada, I love ya. G.I. Jane 2, can't wait to see it."

A source tells ET that Chris is in a "groove" when it comes to his work and is building up material for an upcoming Netflix special and hasn't addressed the slap personally -- although members of his family have, including his mother, Rosalie, and his brother and fellow comedian, Tony.

"Chris is really in a groove right now and is building up material for a Netflix special. He's continued to remain focused on his show and not address the slap personally, but he's very close with his mother and respects what she has to say," the source shared. "The truth is the assault really did impact a lot of people, not just Chris. His mother will likely come out to watch a show soon."

The source said that Chris appears to be in good spirits and has started welcoming visitors backstage at his shows again.

"He's back to having visitors backstage and is always in a great mood after the show. He's aware of the other stars who have started speaking about it and taking sides, but he isn't getting caught up in that," the source continued. "He's sort of operating in a bubble right now, staying laser focused on his work."

While Chris isn't getting caught up in the debates surrounding the incident, he has been addressing it "without addressing" it, the source said.

"He's been tweaking his 'addressing it, without addressing it' opening bit. Most recently he opened his act by saying, 'I'm all right, I'm all right, I've healed from the bruises,' the source said before sharing a memorable moment from one of his recent shows in which he spoke to an audience member named Jada.

"A really funny moment happened in a show recently where he asked an audience member her name and she said, 'Jada,' and he said, 'Sit your a** down,' and the place erupted with laughter," the source added.

The update on Chris' life and work comes after his mother, Rosalie Rock, spoke out about the incident involving her son and Will.

In an exclusive interview with local South Carolina news station WIS-TV, Rosalie, who goes by Rose, told WIS’ Billie Jean Shaw she thought the slap was staged at first, and it wasn't until Will started shouting at Chris that she knew something was off.

"You reacted to your wife giving you the side-eye and you went and made her day because she was mulled over laughing when it happened," Rose, who usually attends the awards show with her son, said.

The sound on the Oscars broadcast cut out after Rock said Smith's name in reaction to the slap, but as the camera panned back to Will, you could clearly read what Smith shouted at Rock. It was clear in that moment to Rose, that it wasn't a bit.

She told the TV station that it felt like she was getting slapped when she saw Will hit her son on live television.

"When he slapped Chris, he slapped all of us. He really slapped me," Rose said. "Because when you hurt my child, you hurt me."

"No one even heard his speech. No one was able to just be in the moment because everyone was sitting there like, 'what just happened?'" she added of the award Chris was presenting to Questlove when the slap occurred.

Later that night, Will won his first Oscar for his portrayal of Richard Williams in King Richard, and while it was unclear what the Academy's reaction would be to the incident, earlier this month, they made the decision to ban Will -- who resigned from the Academy shortly after the altercation -- from attending any events -- in person or virtually -- for the next 10 years.

When asked about how the Academy handled the situation Rose said, "I wouldn’t take his award away, and I don’t see any good way they could have taken him out without disrupting."

She did, however, take issue with Will's apology. 

"I feel really bad that he never apologized," Rose added. "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."


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