Like many people on Oscar night, Kenny Rock watched what happened to his brother Chris Rock through a video posted on social media. Before watching it, he thought the scene of actor Will Smith slapping his brother may have been staged. But when he saw the video and heard Smith swear, he knew it was real.
“It gnaws at me to watch it over and over again because you saw a loved one being attacked and there’s nothing you can do about it,” Kenny Rock told The Times in an interview. “Every time I watch the videos, it’s like an interpretation that keeps popping into my head. My brother wasn’t a threat to him and you had no respect for him at the time. You just to put him down in front of millions of people watching the show.
Following the incident, Kenny Rock said he would like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to take disciplinary action against Smith, including stripping him of his Leading Actor Academy Award for his performance in “King Richard “, and banning him from attending future Oscars.
Smith has come under intense scrutiny since the extraordinary March 27 showdown at the 94th Academy Awards at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles.
After Rock made a joke comparing the hairdo of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, to Demi Moore’s buzz cut in the 1997 movie “GI Jane,” Smith got up, took the stage and slapped Rock in the face.
Some called the joke insensitive because Pinkett Smith opened up about her issues with hair loss caused by alopecia.
But Kenny Rock, actor and entrepreneur, said he didn’t believe his brother knew Pinkett Smith had alopecia.
“The joke was funny,” Kenny Rock said. “It wasn’t hilarious, but I know if he knew she had alopecia…he wouldn’t joke about it. But he didn’t know.
Another person close to Rock who was not authorized to comment also said the comedian had no idea Pinkett Smith had alopecia before the slapping incident.
After slapping Rock, Smith remained at the ceremony and accepted his lead actor Oscar less than an hour later. During his acceptance speech, Smith tearfully apologized to the academy and his fellow nominees for his actions, but not to Rock.
“I might have seen it differently if he had first apologized when he came on stage and cried and accepted the award, but he didn’t, so, there, that’s me. says it’s something else,” Kenny Rock said.
It wasn’t until days after the ceremony in a resignation letter to the academy that Smith publicly included Rock and his family as part of his apology.
Kenny Rock says he does not accept Smith’s apology and, to his knowledge, Smith has not personally contacted him or his family.
“No, I don’t accept it because I don’t think it’s genuine,” Kenny Rock said. “I think his publicist and the people who work under him probably advised him to do it.”
Smith’s publicist did not immediately return a request for comment.
The 42-year-old actor is one of Chris Rock’s six siblings. Several of them have rallied behind their brother, either by speaking out about what happened or by their reactions on social networks. Last week, comedian Tony Rock also said on Twitter that he doesn’t accept Smith’s apology.
Kenny Rock said he first heard about the slapping incident while riding the A train in Brooklyn. His friend was trying to reach him to ask where he was and if he had seen what had happened, but the signal was not clear on the train.
He has since seen the video of the slap more than 20 times.
Kenny Rock said Smith and his brother had known each other since the late ’80s or early ’90s, and he thought they had a “pretty good relationship” before the slapping incident.
Young Rock said he thinks the academy should have immediately pulled Smith from the Oscars.
“He should have been escorted out of there,” he said. “I hold them responsible for this. He could have gone up there and done whatever you wanted to my brother. It could have been much worse than what he did.
The academy declined to comment on Kenny Rock’s comments.
The organization plans to move forward with disciplinary proceedings against Smith for breaching its standards of conduct on April 18. The academy apologized to Chris Rock, its nominees, guests and viewers and said it had asked Smith to leave the ceremony.
“Sir. Smith’s actions at the 94th Academy Awards were a deeply shocking and traumatic event to witness in person and on television,” the academy said.
It is unclear what disciplinary action will be taken against Smith. Whoopi Goldberg, one of the academy’s governors, said on the talk show “The View,” “We’re not going to take that Oscar away from him.”
“He put my brother down. He had no respect for him,” Kenny Rock said. “In my opinion, he embarrassed himself by doing this and his legacy by doing this.”