Chris Rock didn’t hold back as he publicly spoke out on the controversial Will Smith Oscars slap incident for the first time on Saturday night.
The 58-year-old comedian unleashed a blistering barrage of attacks on the 54-year-old actor and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, in the final minutes of his Netflix special “Selective Outrage,” nearly a year after Smith walked onstage at the Academy Awards and slapped him across the face.
More than an hour into his set, the three-time Grammy Award winner directly addressed the infamous incident as he referenced former rapper Suge Knight, who is serving a 28-year prison sentence after pleading no contest to voluntary manslaughter in 2018.
“You all know what happened to me, getting smacked by Suge Smith,” he began. “Everybody knows! Everybody f—— knows! Yes, it happened. I got smacked. A year ago, I got slapped at the f—— Oscars by this motherf—— and people are like, ‘Did it hurt?’ It still hurts! I got ‘Summertime’ ringing in my ear! But I’m not a victim. You will never see me on Gayle, Oprah, crying.”
He went on to remark on their size difference, noting, “Will Smith is significantly bigger than me. We are not the same size.”
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“This guy does his movies with his shirt off!,” Rock exclaimed. “You’ve never seen me do a movie with my shirt off. If I’m in a movie getting open-heart surgery, I got on a sweater. Will Smith played Muhammed Ali in a movie. You think I auditioned for that part? I played Pookie in ‘New Jack City.’ I played a piece of corn in Pootie Tang…even in animation, he’s bigger. I’m a zebra, he’s a shark.”
Rock name-checked the title of his special as he accused Smith of practicing “selective outrage” and referenced Jada’s “entanglements.”
“And for people who don’t know what everybody knows — Will Smith, his wife was f—— her son’s friend,” Rock said.
The comedian then mocked Smith for his appearance on Jada’s Facebook Watch Show “Red Table Talk” in which they discussed her infidelity.
“We all been cheated on. Everybody have been cheated on. None of us have ever been interviewed by the person that cheated on us on television,” he said. “She hurt him way more than he hurt me.”
“Everybody in the world called him a b—-,” he added. “I tried to call the motherf—– and give him my condolences; he ain’t pick up for me. Everybody called that man a b—-, f—— Charlamagne [tha God] called him a b—-, “The Breakfast Club” called him a b—– and “The View” and “The Talk,” and every rapper, they called him a b—-, his wife a predator, everybody called him a b—-. Everybody! Everybody! And who does he hit? Me!”
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Rock accused Jada of telling him that he shouldn’t host the Oscars after Smith wasn’t nominated for his performance in 2015’s “Concussion.”
“So did I do some jokes about it, who gives a f—?” he said. “That’s how it is. She starts it, I finish it. That’s what the f— happened. Nobody’s picking on this b—-. She started this s—.”
He reiterated that Jada told him that he should “quit his job” because her husband didn’t get nominated for “Concussion.”
“And then this n—- gives me a concussion,” he quipped.
Rock recalled how much he previously admired Smith’s music and movies, saying that he “loved” him. “I rooted for Will Smith my whole life,” he said. “And now I watch ‘Emancipation’ just to see him whooped.” The comedian was referring to Smith’s 2022 Apple+ movie, in which he plays a slave.
In the closing moments of his show, Rock explained why he didn’t physically retaliate after being slapped by Smith.
“A lot of people go, ‘Chris, how come you didn’t do, nothing back?’ ‘How come he didn’t do, nothing back that night?’ Because I’ve got parents. That’s why. Because I was raised.”
“You know what my parents taught me? Don’t fight in front of White people!”
Rock’s special, which was Netlfix’s first live-streaming event, took place at Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore, Maryland.
During the show, he lobbed jokes at a number of famous figures including Meghan Markle, the Kardashians, O.J. Simpson, Elon Musk, Snoop Dogg, Dave Chappelle, Beyoncé, Doja Cat and Draymond Green. He touched on “wokeism,” “cancel culture,” transgenderism, abortion, politics, victimhood and the division in America among other topics.
Ahead of the show, Netflix promised the “seven-second delay button is taking a night off” for “Selective Outrage” in a press release earlier this month.
Rock’s special was flanked by a pre-show at the Comedy Store in Los Angeles that was hosted by Malaysian comedian Ronny Chieng and featured performances from Arsenio Hall, Leslie Jones and J.B. Smoove.
The event also featured a compilation of pre-recorded messages from a number of big names including Amy Schumer, Paul McCartney, George Lopez, Adam Sandler, Kevin Hart, Ice-T, Jerry Seinfeld and Matthew McConaughey among others. Following the special, Dana Carvey and David Spade hosted “The Show After the Show” with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Yvonne Orji, Smoove and Hall.
Almost a year ago, the infamous incident unfolded live onstage in front of a global audience at the 95th Academy Awards.
Smith, who won the best actor award for his performance in “King Richard” later that night, was offended over a joke that the comedian made about Jada.
“Jada, I love you. ‘G.I. Jane 2,’ can’t wait to see it, all right?” Rock had joked while presenting an award. He was referring to the 1997 film “G.I. Jane,” starring Demi Moore, who shaved her head to portray a fictional Navy SEAL candidate.
“The Nutty Professor” actress suffers from alopecia, an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss. Following Rock’s joke, Smith stunned the audience when he walked up onstage and smacked Rock across the face.
Prior to the special, the “Spiral” star had mostly stayed mum on the attack except for jokes he tried out on stand-up audiences in his “Ego Death World Tour.” Some of the material made it into his special on Saturday night.
Smith first publicly apologized to Chris Rock and the Academy in a statement he released on Instagram the day after the Oscars. In August, he shared a five-minute-long video on Instagram in which he apologized to Rock and others — including Chris’ mother Rose Rock.
The “Bad Boys For Life” star revealed he reached out to Rock to talk about the incident, but claimed the comedian is not ready to sit down with him. Last week, Smith appeared to joke about the slap in a video that he shared on Instagram.
Meanwhile, the Academy Awards will air next weekend on March 12, but Smith will not be there as he was banned for 10 years following the slap.