Chris Rock Wasn’t Aware of Jada Pinkett Smith’s Alopecia, His Brother Claims

TL;DR:

  • Chris Rock joked about Jada Pinkett Smith’s bald hairstyle at the Oscars 2022, prompting the Will Smith slap controversy.
  • Kenny Rock defended his older brother in a recent interview, claiming Chris Rock “didn’t know” about Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia. Kenny also condemned Will for the slap.
  • Jada Pinkett Smith has publicly addressed her alopecia in recent years.
Chris Rock looks shocked at the Oscars 2022 after his joke about Jada Pinkett Smith.
Chris Rock | Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Chris Rock’s younger brother, Kenny, has spoken up to defend the comedian after he joked about Jada Pinkett Smith at the Oscars 2022. According to Kenny, Chris did not know about Jada’s alopecia when he seemingly made a jab at her bald hairstyle. In addition to defending his brother, Kenny condemned Will Smith for slapping Chris after the joke and said he couldn’t accept Will’s apology.

Chris Rock joked about Jada Pinkett Smith at the Oscars 2022, sparking the Will Smith slap controversy

The controversy began on March 28 at the 94th Academy Awards. Chris took to the stage to present the award for Best Documentary Feature, but he shared a few jokes before announcing the nominees. One such joke was about Jada, who sported a bald hairstyle and an emerald green dress to the event. Chris joked that she could star in G.I. Jane 2.

For those unfamiliar, G.I. Jane is a reference to the 1997 film of the same name. Demi Moore stars as Jordan O’Neil, the first woman to join the Navy Seals and endure harsh training. Jordan ultimately shaved her head to become less feminine.

Jada appeared visibly annoyed by the joke, rolling her eyes and looking unamused. Then, within seconds, Will stormed the stage and slapped Chris across the face. Upon returning to his seat, Will shouted at Chris.

“Keep my wife’s name out your f***ing mouth,” Will said.

While Chris quickly moved on from the incident, it has remained a topic of debate on social media ever since. Some have condemned Chris for joking about Jada’s alopecia, while others criticized Will for his violent reaction. Will has experienced fallout since the scandal, as his upcoming movies are currently on hold.

Chris Rock’s brother, Kenny Rock, says the comedian ‘didn’t know’ about Jada Pinkett Smith’s alopecia

Kenny Rock is the latest person to break his silence on the incident. Speaking to Los Angeles Times, he defended Chris Rock’s joke, claiming that he had no idea about Jada Pinkett Smith’s 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 said.

Kenny also shared how he felt watching Will slap Chris, explaining that it “eats at him” to see his brother treated in such a way. He claimed that Will “belittled” Chris and publicly embarrassed him for no reason.

Minutes after the slap occurred, Will won the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in King Richard. During his acceptance speech, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air star broke down in tears and apologized to the Academy for his actions. The next day, he issued a public apology to Chris and his family, as well as his own loved ones, stating that he was “out of line.” Will has also resigned from the Academy.

In response to Will’s statement, Kenny told LA Times that he couldn’t accept it.

“No, I don’t accept it because I don’t think it was genuine. I think his publicist and the people that work under him probably advised him to do that,” Kenny said. “He belittled my brother. He had no respect for him. In my opinion, he embarrassed himself by doing that and his legacy by doing that.”

Jada Pinkett Smith has publicly opened up about her hair loss in the past

It’s worth noting that Jada has gone public with her alopecia diagnosis before. She got vulnerable about her hair loss back in 2018 during an episode of Red Table Talk, explaining that it was “terrifying” to experience.

“I was in the shower one day, and just handfuls of hair [was] just in my hands,” she said. “I was just like, ‘oh my God, am I going bald?’ It was one of those times in my life that I was literally shaking with fear.”

At the time, Jada often wore turbans to cover up her hair loss. However, she has since come to terms with it and now rocks a bold hairstyle. She addressed her alopecia again in December 2021, taking to Instagram to share a video of her head.

“Me and this alopecia are going to be friends … period!” she wrote in the caption.

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