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Tickets for Chris Rock tour surge following Oscars slap 

Comedian Chris Rock may have received a slap in the face from actor Will Smith at the recent Academy Awards, but an increase in ticket sales for his tour are anything but.

Rock made a joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith and her shaved head at the Oscars, which celebrates actors, directors and production staff in the film industry. Pinkett Smith has alopecia, a condition that results in hair loss. Smith climbed onstage and slapped Rock for making the joke.

The altercation has now led to an increase in ticket sales for Rock’s live performances. Secondary marketplace, TickPick, reported that it has sold more tickets to the comedian’s tour following the event than it did across the entirety of last month.

TickPick said on Twitter: “We sold more tickets to see Chris Rock overnight than we did in the past month combined.”

The secondary sales site also retweeted a stat that said the cheapest ticket for a Rock gig was $46 (£35/€41) from TickPick on March 18, and tickets are now selling for around $314 following the event.

Rock is due to perform six shows at The Wilbur Theatre in Boston from March 30 to April 1, before he commences his Ego Death World Tour on April 2. Tickets are sold out for the Boston shows but are still available for his tour via resale sites.

Smith, who picked up the Oscar for best actor for his film King Richard, where he played the father of tennis icons Serena and Venus Williams, later apologised to Rock on Instagram.

He said: “Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive. My behaviour at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.

“I would like to publicly apologise to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness.

“I would also like to apologise to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologise to the Williams family and my King Richard family. I deeply regret that my behaviour has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us. I am a work in progress.”

Image: Andy Witchger/CC BY 2.0/Edited for size