Celebrity News March 05, 2023
Chris Rock Blames Jada Pinkett Smith for Oscars Slap in Live Netflix Special
Nearly a year later, Chris Rock has finally addressed that Oscars slap — and he did it in a history-making live comedy show streamed on Netflix Saturday night.
"Chris Rock: Selective Outrage" provided Rock with ample opportunity to take on Will and Jada Pinkett Smith, as well as to riff on a variety of other topics, from abortion to Meghan and Harry to the Kardashians to how woke he is or isn't.
Rock didn't bring Smith up directly until the end of his set, when he said, “You all know what happened to me, getting smacked by Suge Smith,” comparing Smith to Suge Knight, in prison for voluntary manslaughter until at least 2034. “It still hurts. I got ‘Summertime’ ringing in my ears. But I’m not a victim, baby. You’ll never see me on Oprah or Gayle crying… I took that hit like [boxer Manny] Pacquiao.”
Blaming Jada for the bad blood that led to the slap, Rock brought up his hosting of the Oscars in 2016, reminding viewers that Jada had asked him to quit in protest after Will was not nominated for an Oscar. “She f**king said [I] should quit because Will didn’t get nominated for ‘Concussion.’ What the f*ck? So then I do some jokes about it. Who gives a f*ck? That’s how it is. She started it. I finished it. Nobody’s picking on this bitch. She started this sh*t. Nobody was picking on her.”
Rock went on, “I love Will Smith my whole life. I have rooted for Will Smith my whole life... now I watch ‘Emancipation’ just to see him get whupped.” Smith plays a runaway slave in the Antoine Fuqua film.
“Everybody who really knows, knows I had nothing to do with that sh*t. I didn’t have any ‘entanglements,'" Rock said, clearly referring to an episode of Jada's "Red Table Talk" on which she and Will discussed her having had an extramarital affair.
In comments sure to ignite a new round of ire from the Smiths, Rock joked, “His wife was f**king her son’s friend. I normally would not talk about this sh*t… I have no idea why two talented people would do something that f**king low-down. We’ve all been cheated on. Everybody in here been cheated on. None of us has ever been interviewed by the person that cheated on us… on television. She hurt him way more than he hurt me.”
Jada Pinkett Smith Confirms Past Relationship with August Alsina While on a Marriage BreakView Story
Claiming he tried to call Smith after that episode aired, Rock said, “Everybody in the world called him a bitch... I tried to call that man and give him my condolences. He didn’t pick up for me... Everybody called him a bitch and who does he hit? Me.”
He also acknowledged that Smith coming for him wasn't exactly a fair fight. “Will Smith is significantly bigger than me. We are not the same size. Will Smith 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. You think I auditioned for that part? I played Pookie in ‘New Jack City.’ I played a piece of corn in ‘Pootie Tang.’”
Addressing why he didn't defend himself when Smith slapped him, Rock explained it was “because I got parents. You know what my parents taught me? Don’t fight in front of white people.”
Talking about the battle over wokeness, he pointed out, "One person does something, they get canceled. Somebody else does the exact same thing, nothing. You know what I’m talking about… The kind of people who play Michael Jackson songs but won’t play R. Kelly. Same crime, one of them just has better songs.”
The show brought up another rift as well — the one currently cleaving America in half politically. “America is in horrible shape right now. We got it worse than Ukraine. Yeah, I said it. You know why? Because Ukraine is united and America is clearly divided. If the Russians came here right now, half the country would say, ‘Let’s hear them out.’”
Poking fun at himself, Rock, 58, said of his romantic life, “I’m trying to date women my age, which is 10 to 15 years younger than me... I didn’t get rich and stay in shape to talk about Anita Baker. I’m trying to f**k Doja Cat.”
Following the special, Netflix aired a post-show event with comics including Dana Carvey, Arsenio Hall, David Spade and more.
Will Smith’s First Award-Show Appearance Since Oscars SlapView Story
Before the show, "Extra" spoke with comics Arsenio, Ronny Chieng and J.B. Smoove about the big event.
Chieng said Chris was the ideal candidate for a global live event because he's "mom-famous." Regarding the slap seen 'round the world, he said, “Chris Rock is more than just about what happened at the Oscars… He’s more than just one event. He’s a cultural phenomenon — everybody knows who he is... I don’t think that one incident is the defining moment of his life.”
Hall took on the meaning behind the show's title, noting, “It means that you could say something to me right now and I could kiss you, and somebody says the same thing to me later and I say, ‘Motherf**ker, I will kill you.’ That’s selective outrage.”
J.B. shed some insight into what Rock might have been thinking while creating his special, telling "Extra," “It takes time to develop that material… It has to fit with the other material that you have… Otherwise, the show will just be Oscars, Oscars, Oscars, Oscars… You don’t want that... You cant let something happen like [the Oscars slap] defeat you. Find a way to…make it work in a cool way.”
Judging by reactions on social media, Rock did just that.