Several police officers responded to Chris Rock’s stand-up comedy show Wednesday night in Boston, following an incident involving a fan.
Video recorded by TheWrap showed at least five officers running inside the Wilbur Theatre, where Rock was performing his first live comedy show since Sunday night’s Oscars, where he was slapped onstage by “King Richard” star Will Smith.
As fans outside the Wilbur looked on, officers quickly exited their squad cars and hustled inside the theater. A man was then escorted out of the venue with his hands cuffed behind his back.
Nick Fratamico, who was covering Rock’s performance for TheWrap, reported a father and son were asked to leave the venue for not wearing masks. The father, who is African American, said race was a factor in the way they were treated. At one point, he could be heard saying they had been in the “white section” of the Wilbur. One of the two men was taken away in handcuffs.
The Boston Police Department described the incident as a “removal” and no serious injuries were reported. Police told TheWrap one of the men eventually complied, but the other refused to put on a mask. Kaleb Herd, 25, was arrested after he “became increasingly agitated, yelling loudly, disrupting the show, and physically assaultive.” BPD said Herd “pushed the officer and theater staff and also struck the officer in the leg.” Herd was charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct, assault and battery on a police officer, resisting arrest, and other counts. He was scheduled to be arraigned in Boston Municipal Court.
A sold out crowd attended the event, with many anxious to hear what Rock might say about Sunday’s confrontation at the Oscars. Rock essentially told everyone to stay tuned.
“I don’t have a bunch of s— about what happened, so if you came to hear that, I have a whole show I wrote before this weekend. I’m still kind of processing what happened. So, at some point I’ll talk about that s—. And it will be serious and funny,” the comedian told attendees.
Rock has been the subject of intense media coverage since he was interrupted and smacked by Smith after joking about Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head. The comedian ventured off topic as he presented the best documentary award, and suggested Pinkett Smith could star in a sequel of “G.I. Jane” due to her bald head. Pinkett Smith has been open about having alopecia, which causes hair loss. In response to the joke, Will Smith stormed the stage, slapped Rock in front of the live audience and said, “Keep my wife’s name out of your f—ing mouth!”
On Wednesday afternoon, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said it had begun disciplinary hearings against the Oscar-winning “King Richard” star, adding that Smith could face various sanctions for violating its code of conduct, including suspension and expulsion.
Nick Fratamico contributed to this report.