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Chris Rock’s younger brother Kenny said it “eats” at him to watch footage of his sibling being slapped by Will Smith at the Oscars – and called for the actor to be stripped of his Academy Award.
Kenny Rock told the Los Angeles Times that he initially thought Smith’s action was staged, but realized it was all too real when the “King Richard” star hurled the F-word at Chris.
Kenny said he first heard about the on-stage incident while he was riding the A train in Brooklyn and a friend contacted him, but the signal was poor and he could not see it.
Since then, he’s viewed the video more than 20 times.
“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, 42, told the newspaper.
“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 just had no respect for him at that moment. You just belittled him in front of millions of people that watch the show,” he said.
The “Vesuvius” actor called for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences — from which Smith resigned over the slap flap – to take disciplinary action against him, including stripping his lead actor award and barring him from attending future Oscars.
Smith, 53, stormed onto the stage during the Academy Awards and slapped Rock, 57, across the face for making a joke about the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, 50.
Rock compared Pinkett Smith — who suffers from alopecia and shaved her head last summer — to Demi Moore’s bald character from the film “G.I. Jane,” prompting the smack that stunned the audience and viewers worldwide.
Kenny said he doesn’t believe his brother knew that Pinkett Smith suffers from alopecia.
“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,” Kenny told the LA Times.
Smith has apologized to the Academy and his fellow nominees during his acceptance speech, but only later also issued a formal apology to Rock.
“I might have looked at it differently had he initially apologized when he got on the stage and cried and accepted the award, but he didn’t, so, right there that tells me that it is something else,” Kenny said, adding that he does not accept the apology.
“No, I don’t accept it because I don’t think it was genuine,” he told the paper. “I think his publicist and the people that work under him probably advised him to do that.”
Kenny added that, to his knowledge, Smith has not personally reached out to the family.
“He should have been escorted out of there,” he said about the aftermath of the violent act. “I hold them accountable for that. He could have went up there and did anything you wanted to my brother. It could have been much worse than what he did.”
The Academy, which declined to comment to the LA Times, has said it is investigating the incident in a “formal review” that will “explore further action and consequences.”
In a previous statement, it said that “Mr. Smith’s actions at the 94th Oscars were a deeply shocking, traumatic event to witness in-person and on television.”
Smith’s publicist did not immediately return a request for comment by the paper.
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