Since actor Will Smith struck comedian Chris Rock at the 94th Academy Awards, social media users have pined for new development in the celebrity drama.
But in the absence of a comment from Rock, it appears some have resorted to crafting their own.
A March 28 Facebook post shared a purported statement from the comedian. It was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
“As a comedian it can be difficult to understand which lines are to be crossed and which ones aren’t,” Rock’s alleged statement read. “Last night I crossed a line that I shouldn’t have and paid the enormous price of my reputation as a renown comedian.”
The grammatically problematic statement attributed to Rock continued for a few more sentences with a “sincere apology” to Smith and actress Jada Pinkett-Smith before ending with Rock’s “hope that, with time, forgiveness can come of this situation and we can all be better, more considerate people in the end.”
Rock’s alleged statement also made its rounds on Twitter. “This is Chris Rock’s apology to Jada and Will Smith,” read one tweet sharing the statement. “Obviously, he’s the only Man in this debacle.”
Though one of the celebrities involved in the incident did release an apology — it wasn’t Rock. The comedian’s Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and website were void of the alleged statement, with his last posts centered on an upcoming tour. And there have been no legitimate news stories reporting this development.
Smith, meanwhile, released a statement on March 28, publicly apologizing to Rock and others, describing his behavior as “unacceptable and inexcusable.”
“I was out of line and I was wrong,” Smith wrote.
Though Rock did not immediately respond to PolitiFact’s request for comment, Rebecca Keegan, an editor for The Hollywood Reporter, tweeted that his representatives denied crafting the statement.
PolitiFact found no news reports or credible evidence to support that the apology was authentic. We rate claims that Rock issued this statement regarding the incident false.
This fact check was originally published by PolitiFact, which is part of the Poynter Institute. It is republished here with permission. See the sources for this fact check here and more of their fact checks here.