Chris Rock has addressed getting slapped by Will Smith for the first time during a new Netflix comedy special.
At the 2022 Oscars, Will Smith stormed the stage and hit Chris Rock after the host made a joke about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith. Later that month, Rock said he was “still kind of processing what happened,” during a stand-up show. “At some point I’ll talk about that shit – and it will be serious and funny,” he added.
Earlier today (March 5) Rock performed his Selective Outrage stand-up show at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre, which was streamed live on Netflix.
During the show, Rock addressed his run-in with Smith. “Everybody knows it happened. I got smacked a year ago. I got smacked at the Oscars by this motherfucker,” Rock said (via The Guardian). “And people are like, ‘Did it hurt?’ It still hurts. I’ve got ‘Summertime’ ringing in my ear.”
He went on to say he “wasn’t a victim. You’ll never see me on Oprah crying. Never going to happen. ‘I couldn’t believe it, and I loved Men In Black’. Nope! Fuck that shit, I took that hit like [boxer Manny] Pacquiao. ‘Did it hurt?’ Yes motherfucker, it hurt.”
“I know you can’t tell on camera, but Will Smith is significantly bigger than me,” Rock contineud. “He does movies with his shirt off. You’ve never seen me do a movie with my shirt off. Will Smith played Muhammad Ali in a movie. Do you think I auditioned for that part?” Rock asked.
For those who missed it, here’s a thread of Chris Rock finally speaking his peace about the Will Smith Oscars slap nearly 1 year later. #ChrisRock #ChrisRockNetflix #ChrisRockLive #ChrisRockSelectiveOutrage pic.twitter.com/Ad05ofvAwR
— All the Latest Entertainment (@AlltheLatestENT) March 5, 2023
During the show, Rock revealed that Jada Pinkett Smith asked him to step down from hosting the Oscars in 2016 after Will Smith wasn’t nominated for Concussion, a film Rock called “the biggest piece of shit ever”.
“So I made some jokes about it,” said Rock. “That’s how it happens, she starts it, I finish it. Nobody was picking on her.”
“I loved Will Smith my whole life. I saw him open up for Run DMC, [DJ Jazzy Jeff And The Fresh Prince] made brand new funk. He’s made some great movies. I’ve rooted for Will Smith my whole life. And now I watch Emancipation just to see him get whooped.”
Later during the set, Chris Rock said he didn’t hit Will Smith back “because I got parents. Because I was raised. You know what my parents taught me? Don’t fight in front of white people,” he explained before throwing down the mic.
In July 2022, Smith posted an apology video to address his actions. “I’ve reached out to Chris and the message that came back is he’s not ready to talk, and when he is, he will reach out,” he said.
Following the incident, Smith resigned from the Academy. He was later banned from all Academy events for 10 years while Oscars president Janet Yang admitted that the organisation’s response to the “unacceptable” altercation was “inadequate”.