Chris Rock finally talks about the Will Smith Oscars slap in live comedy special Selective Outrage
Chris Rock wasted no time addressing the elephant in the room in his new Netflix special Chris Rock: Selective Outrage — though he saved the best for last.
During Netflix's first live event on the streaming platform, the actor and comedian alluded vaguely, at first, to the Will Smith Oscars slap that took over the world following the 2022 Oscars. He chided how he has to be careful with his jokes, saying he didn't want to "offend anybody" because "you never know" what might happen. "I gotta watch what I say," he added. "You know anybody that says words hurt has never been punched in the face."
During the 2022 awards ceremony, Smith slapped Rock across the face onstage — and on live television — after Rock made a joke about the appearance of Jada Pinkett Smith. (Smith later issued an apology to Rock, calling his behavior "unacceptable and inexcusable.") While everyone from Tiffany Haddish to Jimmy Kimmel and others have weighed in — Eddie Murphy even made it part of his Golden Globes acceptance speech) — Rock has only made short references throughout his recent comedy tour. The live event is the first time he has addressed the incident on television.
Toward the end of his set, he finally gave his recounting, in only the way that he can, about what went down on that Oscars stage.
Netflix Chris Rock on 'Selective Outrage'
While talking about Jay-Z, he started, "I do not need another rapper mad at me," proceeding to then calling Smith "Suge Smith," in reference to Suge Knight, the former rap mogul who was convicted of murder in 2018. "People asked me if it hurt," Rock said. "Yes, that s--- hurt! I got hit so hard, I heard 'Summertime' ringing in my ears."
He then compared his body type to Smith's. "He's in movies with his shirt off. If I'm in a movie getting open heart surgery, I got on a sweater. He trained and played Muhammad Ali, I played Pookie in New Jack City, we are not the same!" He added, "Even in animated movies I'm a zebra, he's a f---ing shark."
"Will Smith has selective outrage," Rock stated, referencing his special's name, which means when a moment or incident doesn't line up with your ideology. Alluding to rumors of Jada Pinkett Smith cheating on the Oscar winner with a friend of their son, he said, "I didn't have any entanglements."
"I normally would not talk about this s---, but for some reason, these n----- put that s--- on the internet," he said, seemingly referring to Pinkett Smith's Red Table Talk on Facebook Watch where she interviewed her husband about his feelings about the alleged affair. "I have no idea why two talented people would do something that f---ing low down, what the f---?"
"She hurt him way more than he hurt me," Rock said. The comedian also referenced all the people in Hollywood who called Smith "a bitch" after the interview, from Charlamagne Tha God to The View, saying, "Everybody called him a bitch and who did he hit? Me."
The comedian stressed that he had no beef with Smith, and then told a story not about Will, but rather Jada. "She said I should quit because Will didn't get nominated for Concussion. What the f---? So I did some jokes about her, who gives a f---? That's how it is: She starts it, I finish it. That's what the f--- happened. Nobody's picking on this bitch. She started this s---, nobody's picking on her. She said me, a f---ing grown ass man should quit his job because he wasn't nominated for Concussion and then this n---- gives me a f---ng concussion!"
"I love Will Smith, my whole life," Rock continued. "I have rooted for Will Smith my whole life, I rooted for this motherf-----. And now I watch Emancipation just to see him get whooped."
"A lot of people go 'Chris, how come you didn't do nothing back, how come you didn't do nothing back that night?'", he said concluding the set, "Cause I got parents, that's why. Cause I was raised. I got parents and you know what my parents taught me? Don't fight in front of white people!"
Chris Rock: Selective Outrage is now streaming on Netflix.
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