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Chris Rock says he's still processing the slap in his first appearance since Oscars

The marquee at the Wilbur Theatre advertises a sold out performance by US comedian Chris Rock in Boston, Massachusetts on March 30.
AFP via Getty Images
The marquee at the Wilbur Theatre advertises a sold out performance by US comedian Chris Rock in Boston, Massachusetts on March 30.

Comedian Chris Rock took the stage in Boston Wednesday night to say he is still "processing what happened" at the Oscars where he was slapped in the face by Will Smith.

"How was your weekend?" Rock said at the start of his show, according to Variety. "I don't have a bunch of s**t about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend. I'm still kind of processing what happened. So, at some point I'll talk about that s**t. And it will be serious and funny."

It was the slap seen around the world.

During the awards ceremony Sunday, Smith rushed on stage and slapped Rock across the face on live TV. Just moments before, Rock was presenting the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature and had made a joke at the expense of Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.

Rock said he was looking forward to seeing Pinkett Smith in G.I. Jane 2 — making fun of her shaved head. Pinkett Smith has been open in the past about her hair loss condition.

That's when Smith got up from his seat, went on stage, and slapped Rock. Later that night, Smith won the Oscar for his role in King Richard.

The now-Oscar Award winner has since apologized for assaulting Rock. But he's faced heavy criticism in the days that followed.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has since condemned Smith's actions and launched an official inquiry into the incident.

In a statement, the Academy said Wednesday that Smith was asked to leave the ceremony and refused.

The Academy said it was "a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television."

Richard Williams — the man Smith portrayed on screen in his award-winning role — also spoke out against the actor.

"We don't know all the details of what happened," Williams told NBC News through his son, Chavoita LeSane. "But we don't condone anyone hitting anyone else unless it's in self-defense."

Rock appears to be getting the last laugh. Days after the incident, ticket sales for his world tour reportedly skyrocketed.

TickPick, a site for ticket sales, tweeted: "We sold more tickets to see Chris Rock overnight than we did in the past month combined."

A representative for StubHub told Rolling Stone that "the site experienced 'more than 25x the daily sales'" over two days compared to what they've seen in the last month.

Wednesday's show was the first of five performances in Boston and marked the start of Rock's Ego Death World Tour.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jaclyn Diaz is a reporter on Newshub.