Chris Rock Fires Back at Will Smith Slap in New Netflix Comedy Special 'Selective Outrage'

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Chris Rock has come out swinging!

Publicly, for the first time, the 58-year-old comedian addressed being slapped by Will Smith at the 94th Academy Awards ceremony during his live Netflix special, Selective Outrage, at Baltimore's Hippodrome Theatre.

Rock's special wasted no time diving into his titular subject matter, railing against woke culture and modern sensitivities, accusing hypocrites of "typing out woke-ass tweets on a phone made by child slaves." 

"If everybody claims to be a victim, when the real victims need help, ain't nobody gonna be there to help them," the comedian declared. "Right now, we live in a world where the emergency room is filled with motherf***ers with paper cuts."

The comedian made several off-hand references to the Oscars incident, proclaiming, "Anyone who says words hurt has never been punched in the face," and noting -- after jokes about Snoop Dogg and Jay-Z that he didn't "need any more rappers mad at him."

But it wasn't until the special's end that Rock dove fully into the Oscars incident.

"Everybody f**kin' knows. Yes, it happened, like a year ago, I got smacked at the f**king Oscars by this motherf**ker," he said of Smith.

"People are like, 'Did it hurt? It still hurts!" Rock said with a laugh. "I've got 'Summertime' ringing in my ears."

However, Rock insisted that he's "not a victim."

"You will never see me on Oprah or Gayle crying. Never gonna happen," he insisted."I took that hit like Pacquiao, motherf**ker."

Rock also poked fun at the size difference between the two men before getting more personal, speculating that Smith's attack was about him "practicing selective outrage."

"Everybody knows that had nothing to do with me. I didn't have any entanglements," he said, referring to the cheating rumors that bubbled up for the couple in June 2020.

"His wife was f**king her son's friend," Rock told the crowd. "Now, I normally would not talk about this shit, But for some reason, these n***as put that shit on the internet. I have no idea why two people that talented would do something that low-down."

"We've all been cheated on, none of us have every been interviewed by the person who cheated on us," he added. "Why the f**k would you do that shit? She hurt him way more than I did... Everybody called him a bitch, and who's he hit? Me!"

Rock closed his set by referring back to an earlier Oscars dispute between himself and the couple, recalling how Pinkett Smith said Rock shouldn't host the Oscars because Smith wasn't nominated for his role in Concussion, amid the "#OscarsSoWhite" backlash in 2016.

"Nobody's picking on this bitch," Rock said "She started this shit... And then this n***a gives me a concussion!"

"I love Will Smith… he makes great movies. I rooted for Will Smith my whole life," he added. "And now, I watched Emancipation just so I could watch him get whooped."

As for why he didn't fight back, Rock used that answer to deliver his final jab. "Because I got parents! Because I was raised!" he said. "And you know what my parents taught me? Don't fight in front of white people!"

After the comedy special, a source told ET, "Chris had been very focused on this comedy special for the past year and his hard work paid off and now he can relax."

The source explained that this special was “a big deal” not only because it was a live streaming event, which was unprecedented, but it was the first time he addressed “the slap” in any meaningful way. "He said everything he wanted to say,” the source says. "It was funny, self-deprecating, and thought-provoking.” Now, "Chris is ready to move on."

The pre-show for Rock's special was hosted by The Daily Show's Ronny Chieng and featured plenty of his famous friends, like David Spade, Dana Carvey, JB Smoove, Arsenio Hall, Leslie Jones and more.

This was Netflix’s first-ever live, global streaming event, with Rock advertising the show as "no pre-records, no edits" in a promotional ad. "It's going to be global in 190 countries all at once." 

Rock recently performed in Baltimore on Feb. 16 and Feb. 17 at Hippodrome during his Ego Death World Tour. He also performed at 8 p.m. on Friday in Baltimore, before the live special. 

Rock has been working on material for the special for a while. In August 2022, ET spoke with January Harrison, founder of January Designs and Creations, who was in attendance at Rock's show in Phoenix, where she said he not only discussed the incident between him and Will Smith at the 2022 Academy Awards, but was adamant about not speaking publicly about the slap.

Harrison said that Rock told the audience that Oprah Winfrey asked him to do a sit-down interview with her to discuss the incident, but he declined.

"During the evening, he did describe that he declined an offer to go onto Oprah to do a sit-down interview and even a Super Bowl commercial with Will Smith himself," Harrison shared. "He said, 'You are not gonna see me on any interviews crying my heart out about this. I am not going to be a victim.'"

In July 2022, Smith shared a deeply personal video message to social media in which he apologized to Rock and the comedian's family, as well as his own family and friends, for the now-infamous Oscars slap scandal.

 

He also revealed that he had reached out to Rock. However, "the message that came back," Smith said, was that the comedian was not ready to talk and would reach out when he is. 

Time will tell how Smith as well as everyone at the 2023 Oscars on March 12 will respond to Rock’s special. 

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