Chris Rock's Live Netflix Special Pulled No Punches on Will Smith
Chris Rock finally said his piece on the 2022 Oscars slap fiasco, in which Will Smith assaulted Rock live on stage for making a joke about Smith's wife Jada Pinkett Smith's hair. During his new Netflix special Selective Outrage, which was streamed live from Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore on Saturday night, Rock tied Smith's extreme reaction to the couple's marital issues. Namely, Rock cited Jada's affair with rapper August Alsina — which she famously described as an "entanglement" during an episode of Red Table Talk that featured Will.
"Will Smith practices selective outrage," Rock said. "Outrage because everybody knows what the f— happened. Everybody that really knows, knows that I have nothing to do with that s—. I didn't have any entanglements."
He continued, "His wife was f—ing her son's friend. OK, now, I normally would not talk about this s—, but for some reason, these n—s put that shit on the internet. I have no idea why two talented people would do something that lowdown. What the f—? And we've all been cheated on. Everybody in here has been cheated on. None of us have ever been interviewed by the person that cheated on us on television."
Rock then went on to note that he had tried to reach out to Smith amidst the "entanglement" scandal, which was widely mocked by the public and media pundits. "She hurt him way more than he hurt me," Rock said. "Everybody in the world called him a b—. I tried to call the motherf—er, I tried to call that man and give him my condolences. He didn't pick up for me."
The former Saturday Night Live star then rattled off a ton of media personalities who had critically discussed the affair, including the hosts of The Breakfast Club and the panel on The View. "Everybody called him a b—, and who did he hit? Me, a n— he knows he could beat. That is some b—ass s—."
Chris Rock just slapped Will Smith the right way on stage. pic.twitter.com/eHAWXQlIso— Dom Lucre | Breaker of Narratives (@dom_lucre) March 5, 2023
That last bit tied into remarks earlier in the routine when Rock admitted the slap physically hurt him and how he obviously is not at the Men in Black star's level when it comes to physical stature and fitness.
"People are like, 'Did it hurt?' It still hurts! I got 'Summertime' ringing in my ears!" he said, referencing one of Smith's songs. "But I'm not a victim, baby. You will never see me on Oprah, Gayle (King), crying."
He continued, "Will Smith is significantly bigger than me. He does movies with his shirt off! 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. ... Even in animation, he's bigger: I'm a zebra, he's a shark." (Rock played the zebra Marty in the Madagascar movies, and Will Smith starred in 2004's Shark Tale. However, Smith doesn't actually play a shark in the film.)
Rock also tied Will and Jada's disdain for him back to the 2016 Oscars season. At the time, Jada thought Rock should resign from the gig as host because the Academy didn't nominate Smith for his movie Concussion. Rock responded with a joke about her on that year's broadcast.
"She started this s—," Rock said. "She said that me, a f—ing grown ass man, should quit his job because 'My husband didn't get nominated for Concussion,' and then this n— gives me a f—ing concussion."
Rock also openly praised Smith, noting he was a Smith fan before the slap. However, he only watched Smith's Apple TV+ movie Emancipation for more cynical reasons. "My whole life, I loved Will Smith. I saw him open up for Run-DMC," Rock recalled. "He makes great movies. I have rooted for Will Smith my whole life, and now I watch Emancipation just to see him get whooped. Got me rooting for massa: 'Hit 'em again!'"
Rock ended Selective Outrage with a literal mic drop after explaining why he didn't fight back after Smith slapped him on the Oscars stage.
Rock explained, "A lot of people go, 'Chris, how come you didn't do nothing back?' 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!"