As Chris Rock Will, Jada Smith followed in the live Netflix special

When Will Smith slapped Chris Rock during the 2022 Academy Awards, many members of the live audience and home TV viewers thought it was a joke – until they discovered to their horror that it wasn’t.

After Rock made little comment on the incident during its concert tour last year and declined numerous interview requests, Rock finally hit back at Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett with a series of brutal beatings on Saturday, bringing allegations of infidelity within their ranks before marriage and repeatedly described his Oscar-winning nemesis as “b-“. The comedic slapback came during Rock’s Netflix special “Selective Outrage,” which was broadcast live worldwide from Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theater.

“You never know who might be triggered,” joked Rock, clad in an all-white outfit, in a (thinly) veiled nod to the slap in his set’s opening moments, promising a show that wouldn’t offend anyone. “Someone who says ‘words hurt’ has never been slapped in the face.”

Later, during a riff about Snoop Dogg doing so many commercials, he made a more explicit reference to Smith, who started out as a musician: “I don’t diss Snoop,” he said to roaring laughter. “The last thing I need is another crazy rapper.”

For much of the special, however, Rock avoided the much-anticipated topic of his encounter with Smith in favor of following his friend and Netflix comedian Dave Chappelle in a lengthy discussion of “Awakening” — including Chappelle’s regular target of trans people — and nodding to the point low-hanging comic fruits like OJ Simpson, Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex and the Kardashians. He also added edgy material about opioid addictions and how being paid for abortions is a sign he’s pro-choice: “I’ve paid for more abortions than any woman in this room.” Rock has also tapped into a more personal vein, with expanded attention to raising children and his love life — and a mention that his mother was in the audience.

When Rock finally confronted the punch head-on in the final minutes of the set, he didn’t pull any punches. “I’m not a victim, baby. You’ll never see me cry on Oprah or Gayle,” he said, contrasting his response with Smith’s. “I took that punch like Pacquiao.”

Rock has opened up about Pinkett Smith’s alleged infidelity with her husband – an “involvement” the couple addressed on the show Red Table Talk by saying it’s not a “conventional marriage”. “She hurt him Away more than he hurt me,” joked Rock. He also cited her as a catalyst in the Contretemps, drawing whistles and gasps from the audience: ‘She starts it, I finish it. Nobody hacks on this B—”

“You know what my parents told me?” he said, ending the show with a literal mic drop. “Don’t fight in front of white people.”

The expectation was that Rock would discuss the attack during the special – his first since Netflix’s “Chris Rock: Tamborine” – after previously telling the audience he would need to be paid before speaking about the incident.

The premiere of “Selective Outrage” comes just days after Smith received a special award from the African American Critics Assn. for his appearance in Emancipation, in which he plays a runaway slave. His appearance was his first personal speech since the Oscars. Earlier this week he was honored with an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor in a Motion Picture for “Emancipation.”

The explosive moment of the Oscars came when Rock presented the award for Best Documentary. After Rock made a joke about Pinkett Smith, the actor jumped out of his seat, walked onto the stage and punched Rock in the face.

Less than an hour later, Smith was back on stage, this time tearfully but awkwardly referring to the attack as he accepted the leading actor award for “King Richard.” Days later, he resigned from the Academy of Motion Pictures and received a 10-year ban from Academy activities, including the Oscars.

The attack became the dominant topic of conversation at last year’s Academy Awards, marring what was, up to that point, a powerful celebration of black achievement and excellence. He has addressed the incident on occasion, posting an Instagram video in July and making brief comments during interviews promoting “emancipation.”

Read Rock’s full comments on the slap and the Smiths on “Selective Outrage” below.

Will Smith beats Chris Rock during the 2022 Academy Awards.

(Myung Chun/Los Angeles Times)

You all know what happened to me when I got hit by Suge Smith. I got beat by that motherf at the Oscars and people are like, “Did it hurt?” It still hurts! “Summertime” was ringing in my ears. But I’m not a victim, baby You’ll never see me cry on Oprah or Gayle. will never happen “I can’t believe it and I love Men in Black. will never happen

I took that hit like Pacquio, motherf-…I know you can’t tell on camera, but Will Smith is a lot taller than me. We are not the same size. Will Smith makes shirtless movies. You’ve never seen me do a shirtless movie. I’m in a movie having open heart surgery wearing a sweater. Will Smith played Muhammad Ali in a film. Do you think I auditioned for this role? I played Pookie in New Jack City. … Even in animation, this motherf— is bigger. I’m a zebra, he’s a shark.

Will Smith exercises selective outrage. Everyone knows what the hell happened. Anyone who really knows knows I had nothing to do with it. I had no “entanglements”. … His wife was f— her son’s girlfriend. Well, I wouldn’t normally talk about it s—. But for some reason [they] Put the s— on the internet. I have no idea why two talented people would do something so despicable. … We have all been betrayed. Everyone here has been scammed. None of us have ever been interviewed by the person who cheated on us on TV. “Hey, I sucked someone’s cock. How did that make you feel?”

She hurt him a lot more than he hurt me, okay? Everyone in the world called him off—. I called the mother to offer my condolences, he doesn’t pick up for me. … They called him—, They called his wife a predator. And who does he meet? Me. [Someone] he knows he can hit. That’s a b—ass s—.

I didn’t do anything to that mother, okay? Years ago she told me to stop at the Oscars. I shouldn’t moderate because her husband wasn’t nominated [for “Concussion”]. Greatest play s— ever. … So I made a few jokes about him. That’s how it is. She starts, I finish. OK? That’s what happened. Nobody picks on this B—. She started this s—. Nobody picked on her. She said I, a grown man, should quit his job because her husband wasn’t nominated. And then [he] gives me a concussion. What the hell man?

I loved Will Smith. I have loved all my life [him]… He’s made some great films. I’ve rooted Will Smith my entire life. And now I’m watching “Emancipation” just to see him get flogged. I chose Massa. A lot of people say, “Chris, how come you didn’t pay anything back?” Because I have parents. Because I grew up, okay? Do you know what my parents taught me? Don’t fight in front of white people.

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