During a new live Netflix show, Chris Rock took the opportunity to poke fun at Will Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, nearly a year after the infamous incident where Smith slapped Rock onstage at the Oscars. Using the show’s last few minutes, Rock joked about the explosive moment in a way that had the audience laughing along with him.
“Now I watch ‘Emancipation,’ just to see him get whooped,” the comedian said of the Civil War set Drama that earned Smith an Academy Award. In the film, Smith portrays an enslaved man forced to work for the Confederacy.
Following the incident where Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage at the Oscars, many expected the outspoken comedian to share his thoughts on the matter immediately. However, during his first show after the event, Rock surprised audiences by stating that he was still processing what had happened. He promised his fans that there would be an appropriate time and place for him to discuss it in greater detail, showing a thoughtful and measured approach to the situation.
The time and place ended up being his stand-up show at the Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore, broadcast live to viewers worldwide. During the show, Rock made himself the butt of his own jokes while also referencing Smith’s bigger physique.
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In his full set titled “Selective Outrage,” Chris Rock tackled various controversial topics, including cancel culture, the January 6th riot, abortion, and even delved into personal stories about his family. When he finally got to the topic of the slap, he made a point to say he is “not a victim.”
“I took that hit like Pacquiao,” Rock joked, a reference to the boxing champion.
As Mamas Uncut reported at the time of last year’s Oscars, Rock made a joke about Pinkett Smith’s buzzed hair (she has alopecia, a condition that causes hair loss). Following the jab, Smith yelled, “Keep my wife’s name out your mouth,” with an expletive. Then, Smith climbed onstage and slapped Rock across the face.
Rock seemed to heed Smith’s warning in the comedy special, only referring to Pinkett Smith as “his wife.”
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After the Oscars fiasco, Smith resigned from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and was barred from attending any future ceremonies for a decade.
Following the unfortunate incident, Smith has issued several apologies.
“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” Smith shared via Instagram the day after last year’s ceremony. “My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable. Jokes at my expense are a part of the job, but a joke about Jada’s medical condition was too much for me to bear and I reacted emotionally.”
Chris Rock’s new comedy special is proof that audiences are still captivated by the Oscars incident and that there is still plenty of comedy to mine from it. However, making a joke about a medical condition is a step too far for most. Pinkett Smith has made many decisions in recent years that have caused scrutiny and perhaps a joke targeting her character instead of her health would have been more appropriate.
Andrew is an Assistant Editor for Mamas Uncut with over ten years of experience as a writer in the creative, marketing, and blogging spaces. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a passion for telling stories in a variety of mediums. Obsessively making lists, reporting celebrity news, and diving into emerging pop cultural topics are a few of his interests.
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