A year after he was slapped by Will Smith on national television during the Academy Awards ceremony, comedian Chris Rock struck back on Saturday.
Rock, 58, used Smith as a punchline after an hour of new material on “Chris Rock: Selective Outrage,” streamed live by Netflix from the Hippodrome Theatre in Baltimore, Variety reported. It was the first comedy special Netflix has streamed live, according to the entertainment news outlet.
“You all know what happened to me, getting smacked by Suge Smith. Everybody knows. Everybody (expletive) knows,” Rock said. “I got smacked like a year ago … and people are like, ‘Did it hurt?’ It still hurts. I got ‘Summertime’ ringing in my ears.”
Smith, who won an Academy Award for his role as Richard Williams, the father of Venus and Serena Williams in “King Richard,” left his seat in the audience to walk on stage and strike Rock. The comedian was presenting the Oscar for a documentary feature during the 94th Academy Awards ceremony and made a joke at the expense of the actor’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith., Variety reported.
Rock has been doing standup material for 10 months, but Saturday was the first time he was streamed nationally doing his routine, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Smith apologized after the incident and has spoken out about it, but Rock has remained relatively silent, avoiding interviews, The Associated Press reported.
“I’m not a victim baby, you will never see me on Oprah or Gayle (King) crying. You will never see it,” Rock told the audience. “It’s never going to happen.”
The comedian ended that thought by stating that he “took that hit like (Manny) Pacquiao.”
“Selective Outrage” saw Rock address cancel culture, the Jan. 6 riot, abortion and his family, The New York Times reported. The comedian waited until the end of his show to speak about the slap. The show’s title referenced the incident, the AP reported.
“You never know who might get triggered,” Rock told the audience. “Anybody who says words hurt hasn’t been punched in the face.
“Words hurt when you write them on a brick.”
Rock also answered the question of whether the slap physically hurt him, saying that he was a “zebra” while Smith was “a shark.”
“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,” Rock said. “If I’m in a movie getting open heart surgery, I got on a sweater. Will Smith played Muhammad Ali in a movie, you think I auditioned for that part? I played Pookie in ‘New Jack City.’”
Rock conceded that he “loved” Smith and explained why he did not retaliate.
“Because I got parents,” Rock said. “I was raised. And you know what my parents taught me? Don’t fight in front of white people.”
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