Chris Rock did not say he ‘crossed a line’ following Will Smith Oscars slap

31 March 2022
What was claimed

Chris Rock has issued a statement in which he said he crossed a line at the Oscars and apologises to Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Our verdict

This statement is not real.

Several posts on Facebook contain what they claim is a statement written by the comedian Chris Rock, in which he says he “crossed a line”, and apologises to Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith. 

This follows the events of Sunday night’s Oscars, when Will Smith slapped the comedian on stage following a joke made about the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, in apparent reference to her hair loss.

The statement reads: “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 [sic] comedian. Comedy is never about poking fun at or making lite [sic] 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 friend’s [sic] 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.”

But the statement isn’t genuine, and wasn’t made by Chris Rock. The comedian’s representatives have confirmed to AFP that it is a fake.

The main indication that it isn’t genuine are the numerous spelling and grammar mistakes littered throughout. Plus, the statement doesn’t appear on any of Chris Rocks’ official social media pages, and hasn’t been covered by any major news sites, except those debunking it.

The Independent reported that during a show for his tour on Wednesday, Mr Rock opened by saying, “Soooo, how was your weekend?” and was greeted with a standing ovation, but didn’t apologise or say anything contained in the false statement. He told the crowd he was “still processing” what had happened.

Will Smith has apologised, in a statement posted on his verified Instagram account on Tuesday.

Picture via Andy Witchger licensed under CC BY 2.0.

This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here. For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false because the statement is fake.

Full Fact fights bad information

Bad information ruins lives. It promotes hate, damages people’s health, and hurts democracy. You deserve better.