‘The joke was funny’: Chris Rock’s brother Kenny says Will Smith should be stripped of his Oscar

‘It eats at me watching it over and over again’, Kenny Rock said

Tom Murray
Wednesday 06 April 2022 11:55
Footage resurfaces of Chris Rock poking fun at Jada Pinkett Smith's activism in 1997

Chris Rock’s brother Kenny has criticised the Academy for its lack of action and lambasted Will Smith, after the actor slapped his brother at the Oscars.

Smith walked on stage and struck Rock, who was presenting the award for Best Documentary, after the comedian made a joke about his wife, actor Jada Pinkett Smith.

On Friday (1 April), five days after the incident, Smith made the decision to step down from the Academy.

“It eats at me watching it over and over again because you’ve seen a loved one being attacked and there’s nothing you can do about it,” Kenny, an actor and entrepreneur, told The Los Angeles Times on 4 April.

“Every time I’m watching the videos, it’s like a rendition that just keeps going over and over in my head. My brother was no threat to him and you [Smith] just had no respect for him at that moment. You just belittled him in front of millions of people that watch the show.”

Just 15 minutes after the incident occurred, Smith took to the stage again – this time to collect the Oscar for Best Actor for his role in King Richard.

Chris Rock went on his comedy tour days after the Oscars

The LA Times reported that Kenny would like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (the body that awards the Oscars) to revoke Smith’s Oscar and bar him from future ceremonies.

Chris has faced criticism for his joke about Pinkett Smith, which was made at the expense of her baldness (caused by alopecia). While Chris has yet to comment on the joke itself, sources reportedly told TMZ that he “had no idea” Pinkett Smith had alopecia.

In the interview with The LA Times, Kenny agreed that his brother was unaware of Pinkett Smith’s condition, saying: “The joke was funny. It wasn’t hilarious funny, but I know that if he knew that she had alopecia... he wouldn’t make a joke about that. But he didn’t know.”

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Kenny added that he did not accept Smith’s apology, which was made the day after the Oscars (28 March). “No, I don’t accept it because I don’t think it was genuine,” Kenny said. “I think his publicist and the people that work under him probably advised him to do that.”

Kenny, one of Chris’ six living siblings, is not the only one to have rallied behind his brother since the Oscars. His brother Tony Rock – who is also a comedian – hit out at Smith during a comedy set performed over the weekend.

In a video clip obtained by The Shade Room, Tony said: “You gonna hit my motherf***ing brother because your b**** gave you a side-eye?”

Asked how his brother was after the altercation, Tony responded: “Still rich.”

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