Chris Rock reportedly made joke backstage after Will Smith slap

Chris Rock made a joke reference to Muhammad Ali after being slapped on stage by Will Smith at the Oscars, reports suggest. The comic was hit by the actor after making a joke about Jada Pinkett-Smith’s hair loss during the awards ceremony.

Reports now suggest that Rock didn’t know about Jada’s alopecia, reports Birmingham Live. But now reports suggest Rock made a joke and tried to laugh off the situation. Will Smith once played Muhammad Ali in the 2001 film Ali. A Vanity Fair awards insider has since reported that Rock tried to downplay the situation as he exited the stage, nodding to Smith’s Oscar-nominated turn as the boxer in 2001’s Ali.

“When Chris Rock walked back to the wings of the stage with the winners, his cheek was red, but he tried to play it off to the gobsmacked crew and fellow presenters by making a joke about one of Will Smith’s other Oscar-nominated roles,” they wrote. “One witness said he remarked loudly, ‘That’s the only time you get hit by Muhammad Ali and it doesn’t leave a scratch’.”

Smith has since apologised for the slap. “I would like to publicly apologise to you, Chris,” he wrote. “I was out of line and I was wrong. 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.”