Chris Rock was ‘shaken’ by Will Smith incident backstage at Oscars: source

A source tells Fox News Digital that Sean 'Diddy' Combs, who took the stage after the incident, tried to play 'peacemaker' between the two stars

NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!

Chris Rock was "shaken up" backstage following the viral smack from Will Smith at the 94th Academy Awards before Sean "Diddy" Combs hit the stage in an attempt to lighten the mood and promote his newest namesake: love. 

Contrary to reports on Monday that Smith and Rock hashed out their differences at an industry party following an on-stage dust-up after Rock made a joke about Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head, one highly plugged in insider relayed to Fox News Digital that while Combs did in fact speak to each of the Hollywood staples, it still remains unclear if they have squashed their expensive beef.

"Puff really needed to bring up that room after that incident and wanted to elevate the room and be a peacemaker," a source told Fox News Digital on Monday, "Obviously, it was such a successful night for Will Packer and Shayla Cowan, the two Black producers — it was a big moment for them, and he wanted to recognize them before he was doing the other big moment, which was 'The Godfather' moment — 50 years."

"Unfortunately, he had to sort of change the direction of what he was saying but also wanted to bring two incredible artists together and sort of squash it," the insider added. "He wanted to be that love in the room and do what he did — that’s what he wanted to achieve, and he wanted to do it privately where he went to speak to both of them individually— and he did that too."

WILL SMITH WAS ALMOST ‘REMOVED’ FROM OSCARS AFTER VIRAL CHRIS ROCK SMACK: REPORT

ROCK ‘SHOCKED’

Meanwhile, the executive-level insider pressed that Rock was "shocked and shook backstage" and that it was quite obvious he had no idea what Smith’s intentions were when the "Fresh Prince of Bel-Air" star meandered up towards the Oscars stage.

"Puff got him [Rock] as soon as he got back to the corridor," said the source. "But then you had Serena [Williams], and they were having the best time all night — her and her husband and [sister] Venus were having a great night. They were in the green room most of the night, having a great old time. But I think everyone was just sort of just wanting to be supportive because he was shook. It was obvious."

"Backstage, Puff just wanted to go up and hug both of them because after something happens so publicly, you're a bit shocked," said the source. "It doesn't matter if you were the instigator or not. You just want to feel OK. You need someone to give you some reassurance, to give you a hug and have a conversation that's normal. That’s humanity."

Lupita Nyong'o reaction Will Smith, Chris Rock Oscars

Lupita Nyong'o reaction Will Smith, Chris Rock Oscars (ABC)

SMITH, ROCK HAVEN’T SPOKEN

While Fox News Digital’s source is adamant that "Puff went to Will [Smith] in the audience of the theater," at the end of the day, it was Combs’ complete intention to dispel any sense of animosity between two men he genuinely refers to as his "brothers," but the fact that Combs is actually friends with Rock and Smith — the last thing Combs ever wanted to see was two men of their cultural stature so publicly upset with one another.

"Whether they squashed their moment, we don't know," said the source. "But Puff definitely wanted to be a peacemaker."

"I think at the end of the day, I think the intention was really to lift the room up and to remind people what we were there to do and celebrate excellence in film and that the moment was a little quarrel between brothers that's going to be fixed and for people to move on from it to try and save the moment and not ruin the night and to unify his brothers," the insider maintained. "That's it."

US producer-musician Sean "Diddy" Combs speaks onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 27, 2022.

US producer-musician Sean "Diddy" Combs speaks onstage during the 94th Oscars at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California on March 27, 2022. (Photo by Robyn Beck / AFP)

ROCK PRAISED

Rock was immediately commended for the restraint he showed in not retaliating against Smith with viewers at home taking to social media to praise the comedian for not escalating violence with violence.

"If Chris Rock had hit Will Smith back, we all would have said Chris Rock is a bad person right?" one viewer tweeted. "Firstly, we all need to applaud his professionalism for not hitting Will Smith back. The words Will Smith said at the end could have been said instead of slapping him, and he’d stop."

WILL SMITH, CHRIS ROCK’S OSCARS SPAT HEARD IN UNCENSORED VIRAL CLIP

"Imagine if Chris Rock slapped back then you'd have a brawl at the Oscars," another chimed.

"Not everybody knew Jada had skin issues?" one user commented. "I didn’t know she had health problems until my wife said something. You could stand up for your wife’s honor without physical violence. Had Chris Rock hit back and a brawl perused we’d be saying something different."

"Everyone talking about #WillSmith but the REAL MAN was #ChrisRock," one viewer tweeted. "This man could have taken the Will Smith low road but stood there LIKE a REAL MAN, COMPOSED HIMSELF, REMAINED PROFESSIONAL, and chose not to embarrass minorities anymore than what had already happened. Facts."

Still, our source stands firm on the notion that many felt compelled to speak to the idea that Smith doesn’t have a track record of being physical so the moment itself left the world confused until many realized it was indeed, real.

ACADEMY CONDEMNS WILL SMITH'S ACTIONS, LAUNCHING FORMAL REVIEW OF CHRIS ROCK SLAP

"I know Puff wanted to go up on that stage and congratulate Will [Packer] and Shayla [Cowan], two black producers. What Puff did was not on script," said the insider. "He wanted that acknowledged worldwide and he didn't get a chance to do that because he needed to fix the moment."

"What Puff wanted to say is it's all love. We're brothers. We're family, we'll settle this at Jay-Z's party, so that he could bring it back to the celebration that it was and the success that it was without that. I think people were more stunned at 'I've never seen Will Smith aggressive.'

‘UNFAZED’ LATER IN THE NIGHT

Despite Rock initially being flustered by the incident itself, as a comedian, no amount of heckling or vitriol is enough to throw him off his game. To the end, the funnyman reportedly brushed the moment off soon after as he left the Dolby Theatre early and headed to one of the liveliest after parties.

Rock decided against pressing charges against the "King Richard" Academy Award-winner for best actor. In the evening, Rock reportedly joked that he "got punched" by Muhammad Ali and "didn’t get a scratch."

JON VOIGHT DEFENDS WILL SMITH AFTER SLAP HEARD ROUND THE WORLD: 'HE'S A GREAT MAN'

Smith famously embodied "the Greatest" boxer in the 2001 biopic.

He has since publicly apologized to Rock after he slapped the comedian during the Oscars Sunday evening.

"Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive," Smith wrote in part on Instagram before publicly apologizing to Rock. "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."

His full statement reads: "My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally."

Will Smith, right, hits presenter Chris Rock on stage while presenting the award for best documentary feature at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

Will Smith, right, hits presenter Chris Rock on stage while presenting the award for best documentary feature at the Oscars on Sunday, March 27, 2022, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello) (AP Photo/Chris Pizzello)

"I would like to publicly apologize 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. "

CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER

"I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us."

"I am a work in progress. Sincerely, Will."

Fox News' Stephanie Nolasco contributed to this report.