In the last 10 minutes of his live Netflix special Selective Outrage, Chris Rock finally addressed the Oscars slap that has a lot of us still scratching our heads. The stand-up special marked the first time Rock publicly addressed the incident in which Will Smith slapped the comedian live on air at last year’s Academy Awards.
The special, which premiered Saturday night, was the first-ever live Netflix special and it featured a star-studded cast for the pre-show leading into Rock’s standup set. The pre-show event was hosted by The Daily Show’s Ronnie Chieng and there was even a post-show hosted by SNL alums Dana Carvey and David Spade.
Rock spent much of the 70-minute set alluding to “The Slap” before Rock went all in with a cathartic rant about how “Will Smith practices selective outrage.” He recaps the martial troubles of Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, in the years leading up to the 2022 Academy Awards, noting that “everybody called [Smith] a bitch” for going public with his wife’s cheating scandal. But “who’s he hit? Me!.. That is some bitch-ass shit.”
“I have rooted for Will Smith my whole life,” he tells the Baltimore audience, echoing a lot of people’s feelings towards Smith leading up to the physical assault. And he gives insight into why we haven’t heard him talk about the assault in the year since it happened: “I am not a victim, you will ever see me on Oprah or Gayle [King], crying.”
That’s because, in the end, Rock has the last laugh. When it comes to inflicting pain, “[Pinkett-Smith] hurt [Smith] way more than he hurt me.” Ouch.
As the Daily Beast notes, this might be the first and last time Rock speaks about the incident, given that he has turned down the Academy’s offer to host this year’s Oscars and won’t appear at the event at all.