Three days on, the Online Panopticon continues to have its watchful and infinite eyes trained almost exclusively on the Will Smith/Chris Rock incident at Sunday night’s Oscars ceremony. Somewhere, deep in the laboratories of Twitter, fifth and sixth-generation Takes are already gestating, scalding in their heat, and in the sheer rush to be wrongest, loudest, set of alleged thoughts about that particular half-minute of TV.
At the same time, we’re all busy setting ourselves up as a sort of emotional Warren Commission, attempting to recreate the movements and, more importantly, the mindsets of everyone even tangentially involved with the moment: Audience members; hosts Wanda Sykes, Amy Schumer, and Regina Hall; and especially the three people at the center of the moment, Smith, Rock, and Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith.
Rock has been especially quiet about the incident—although we’ll be keeping an eye on his stand-up show tonight in Boston, his first time taking the stage since Sunday night, to see if he addresses the Best Actor winner in the room. In the meantime, we do have one POV on how he was feeling that evening after leaving the stage, courtesy of Sykes, who says that Rock is the only person who’s apologized to her for how Sunday night went down.
This is per the same Ellen clip we quoted from earlier today, in which Sykes echoed Schumer’s assertion that the moment of Smith slapping Rock was “sickening” to her. (She also revealed that she missed the slap proper, since she was doing a costume change at the time.) The Rock bit comes right at the end of the clip, when Sykes notes that she ran into him at an Oscars after-party.
“As soon as I walked up to him,” Sykes reports, “The first thing he said was ‘I am so sorry.’ I’m like, ‘Why are you apologizing?’” To which Rock responded, “‘It was supposed to be your night. You and Amy and Regina…I’m so sorry, because now this is going to be about this.’” “That’s who Chris is,” Sykes concludes.