It took nearly a year, but Chris Rock finally addressed being slapped by Will Smith at the 2022 Academy Awards in his new Netflix standup special, Selective Outrage (read our review here).
What Did Chris Rock Say About Will Smith in Selective Outrage?
Nearly a year after the 2022 Oscars, Rock finally gave his side of the story during Selective Outrage, a live special airing on Netflix.
“Y’all know what happened to me, getting smacked by Suge Smith… I got smacked at the f*cking Oscars by this motherf*cker. People were like, ‘Did it hurt?’ It still hurts! I got ‘Summertime’ still ringing in my ears.”
“I know you can’t tell on camera: Will Smith is significantly bigger than me. We are not the same size, OK? We are not. Will Smith does movies with his shirt off. You’ve never seen me do a movie with my shirt off. If I’m in the movie getting open heart surgery, I’m in a sweater. Will Smith played Muhammad Ali in a movie! You think I auditioned for that part? He played Muhammad Ali, I played Pookie in New Jack City! I played a piece of corn in Pootie Tang!”
“But I’m not a victim,” Rock added, saying that he’ll never go “crying” to Oprah Winfrey. “I took that hit like Pacquiao, motherf*cker.”
Rock blamed Smith’s outburst on extracurricular factors — specifically, Jada Pinkett-Smith’s affair with August Alsina.
“Everybody that really knows knows I had nothing to do with that shit. I didn’t have any ‘enganglements.’ I didn’t. I did not have any ‘entanglements.’ And for people that don’t know… Will Smith’s wife was f*cking her son’s friend. Now, I normally would not talk about this shit, but for some reason these n****s put that shit on the internet.”
“She hurt him way more than he hurt me, OK? And by the way, he does that shit and everybody in the world called him a bitch. I tried to call the motherf*cker and give him my condolences but he didn’t pick up from me. Everybody called him a bitch. Everybody. And who’s he hit? Me… That is some bitch-ass sh*t. That’s what the f*ck happened, OK? The f*ck outta here, man! I do nothing to this motherf*cker.”
“My whole life I’ve rooted for this motherf*cker. And now, I watch Emancipation just to see him get whooped. Got me rooting for Massa, OK? Hit him again, Massa! Hit him again! You missed a spot! A lot of people go, ‘Chris, how come you didn’t do anything back? How come you didn’t do nothing back that night?’ Because I got parents. And you know what my parents taught me? Don’t fight in front of white people!
Chris Rock Also Had Some Words for Jada Pinkett-Smith
During the Oscars, Rock joked that Pinkett-Smith looked like “G.I. Jane 2,” an apparent reference to her shaved head. Afterwards, Smith took the stage and struck Rock across the face. “Keep my wife’s name out of your f*cking mouth!” he yelled.
As Rock explained, coming into the evening Smiths were already on edge for a joke he made about Pinkett-Smith years earlier, when he hosted the 2016 Oscars. The Smiths boycotted that year over Will not getting nominated for Concussion, and apparently they had encouraged Rock to do the same.
“Jada said she’s not coming [out of] protest. I was like, ‘Isn’t she on a TV show?’ Jada’s going to boycott the Oscars? Jada boycotting the Oscars is like me boycotting Rihanna’s panties. I wasn’t invited!” Rock recalled saying.
“She f*cking said, ‘He should quit because Will didn’t get nominated for Concussion.’ What the f*ck? So, I did some jokes about it. Who gives a f*ck? That’s how it is. She starts it, I finish it, OK? That’s what the f*ck happened. Nobody’s picking on this bitch. She started this shit. Nobody’s picking on her. Nobody was picking on her. She said me, a grown-ass man, should quit his job because her husband didn’t get nominated for Concussion, and then this n***a gives me a f*cking concussion, OK? What the f*ck, man!”
What Did Will Smith Say About the Slap?
“That was a horrific night, as you can imagine,” Smith said during an appearance on The Daily Show in November 2022. “There’s many nuances and complexities to it, you know. But at the end of the day, I just – I lost it, you know. And I guess what I would say, you just never know what somebody’s going through. I was going through something that night, you know? Not that that justifies my behavior at all.”
Smith also said his upbringing likely influenced his actions. “It was a lot of things, it was the little boy that watched his father beat up his mother. All of that just bubbled up in that moment. That’s not who I want to be. I understand how shocking that was for people, man. I was gone. That was a rage that had been bottled for a really long time.”
As a result of Smith’s actions, the Academy Board of Governors banned him from attending the Oscars for a period of 10 years.
Where Can I Watch Selective Outrage?
Selective Outrage aired live on Netflix on Saturday, March 4th — marking Netflix’s first-ever global livestreaming event. It is available to replay on demand via Netflix.