Seems Chris Rock is not looking to reconcile with Will and Jada Pinkett Smith anytime soon. Nor does it seem that he will he be taking Smith up on his offer to talk when he is ready. At least that is from the tone of his recently aired Chris Rock: Selective Outrage comedy special.
It was just 8 minutes of an hour-plus long show—that was hyped (pre-show) by the likes of Leslie Jones, Jerry Seinfield, Matthew McConaughey, Ice_T—but it was what the crowd at the Hippodrome Theater in Baltimore and millions of viewers had been waiting for. In fact, it ranked #7 on Netflix’s most recent chart of the top 10 most-watched shows in the U.S.
And it was as the show was winding down after addressing his thoughts on Meghan Markle, abortion, woke culture and gender politics, that Rock started in on Smith.
“Y’all know what happened to me, getting smacked by Suge Smith,” he began and for the next eight minutes it was on, at one point stating, “I watch ‘Emancipation’ just to see him get whooped.”
As one viewer pointed out, “Chris Rock agreed to the terms set by Will Smith. He kept Will’s wife’s name out of his mouth. Instead, he called her a bitch a total of 23 times. But he didn’t say Jada. Chris is not only hilarious, but also, clearly a man of his word.”
The gut punch, however, came as Rock addressed the affair Pinkett had with August Alsina, 21 years her junior and a friend of her son.
“His wife was [having sex with] her son’s friend. I normally would not talk about this. … She hurt him way more than he hurt me.”
“Everybody in the world called him a b—-,” Rock said. “I tried to call the motherf—– and give him my condolences; he ain’t pick up for me. Everybody called that man a b—-, f—— Charlamagne [tha God] called him a b—-, ‘The Breakfast Club’ called him a b—– and ‘The View’ and ‘The Talk,’ and every rapper, they called him a b—-, his wife a predator, everybody called him a b—-. Everybody! Everybody! And who does he hit? Me! [Someone] he knows he can beat.”
Referencing the title of the special, he said, “Will Smith practices selective outrage. Years ago, his wife said I should quit the Oscars ’cause her man didn’t get nominated for Concussion. And then her husband … gives me a concussion.”
“The thing I have a problem with is selective outrage… One person does something, they get canceled. Somebody does the same exact thing, nothing.
A sort of post-show analysis was hosted by comedians Dana Carvey and David Spade, but the real reviews were online and for the most part, they were mixed, sparking a great deal of backlash.
Wrote one viewer, “I 100% understand why Will Smith smacked Chris Rock and honestly he deserved it. This man got back on stage and called Jada a b***h. Come on, you’re calling someone’s mother, sister, wife, daughter a b—-. He didn’t learn his lesson.
From another came this post: “Main thing I learned from Chris Rock’s live standup special for Netflix, Selective Outrage: He’s still pretty pissed at Will and Jada Pinkett Smith. And it ain’t necessarily helping his comedy.
“Misogynoir in comedy,” noted author Ernest Owens (The Case for Cancel Culture) “is Chris Rock joking that Black people don’t fight in front of white people while proceeding to call a Black woman a b—- in front of white people after being slapped for disrespecting a Black woman’s hair in front of white people at another event.”
Among those coming to Rock’s defense were comedians D.L. Hughley and Leslie Jones.
Wrote Hughley: “I’m going to give my brother, his flowers and his respect,”@chrisrock YOU DID THE DAMN THING, MOST IMPORTANTLY… YOU STAYED TRUE TO YOURSELF!! as far as everyone else that seems to have an opinion on whether or not he should’ve mentioned what happened to HIM, you don’t get to decide when, why or how someone else deals with THEIR trauma.”
“Y’all forget he got slapped in front of the world yo! His kids, his mama, peers EVERYONE!” Leslie Jones wrote after someone commented, “You got to let stuff go at some point in your life…. This is how young brothers get killed in the streets… talking about something that happened a year ago. Setting a terrible example…
“Y’all act like you would be righteous!” Jones said. “YOU ARE HYPOCRITES!…go sit down.”
But perhaps it was Greg Moore of the Arizona Republic who had the best perspective on the incident and aftermath last year when he headlined his opinion piece, “Chris Rock is the hands-down winner of that Oscars slap. It’s going to make him millions”.
Netflix paid $20 to Rock for the special.