Chris Rock Finally Responds to the Will Smith Slap One Year Later
The entire world was shocked to watch Will Smith walk onstage and slap comedian, Chris Rock in the face at the 2022 Oscars. It was perhaps one of the most memorable awards show moments of all time.
Since the incident, Rock has remained quiet, but he finally spoke out about it in his new comedy special appropriately named “Selective Outrage”. Here’s everything you need to know about what has gone down between the actor and comedian and what Chris finally revealed about that night in his new special.
Award Show Night
Anyone that watches award shows (or finds themselves scrolling the internet) has probably seen some interesting award show moments that stuck with them. We’ve seen actors give bizarre speeches after a few too many, teleprompters malfunction, and famous trips and falls. We have even seen them announce the wrong winner!
But, we have certainly never seen someone physically assault another person on stage. It is one of the last things you might expect from an award show like the Oscars. However, the 2022 Oscars changed all of that when one of the most famous actors in the world approached a comedian who was presenting an award on stage.
Will and Jada Pinkett Smith on Oscar Night
Will and Jada were sat together in the audience and Will was even nominated for an Oscar for his role in the movie King Richard. He actually ended up winning the award for Best Actor later that night.
They seemed to be enjoying the show and Chris Rock’s jokes. The cameras had shown the couple smiling throughout the show on multiple occasions before the famous incident. Smith responded to one of the comedian’s jokes in a way that truly no one could have seen coming; least of all Chris.
Chris Rock Presenting at the Oscars
Chris Rock is no newbie at hosting the Oscars. He previously hosted the event in 2005 and again in 2016. He returned to the Oscars stage in 2022 to present the award for best documentary feature.
Rock was telling jokes and getting ready to announce the winner of the award when he made a joke about Will’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. He said that he was excited to see her in “G.I. Jane 2”, which was a reference to the actress’s shaved head. Jada has alopecia which causes loss of hair.
Previous Jabs at Will and Jada
This comment was not the first time Chris Rock had thrown shade at the Smiths. When Rock hosted the Oscars in 2016 he made some comments about them as well, but he felt it was all in good fun!
After all, it is the job of a comedian to poke fun and make jokes that are going to make people laugh. However, he would soon find out that there was a hard line for the Smiths and if you crossed it, the consequences were painful.
The Slap Heard Around the World
The joke had clearly upset Jada so Will stood from his chair and walked onto the stage. He slapped Chris across the face which shocked the comedian as well as the entire audience and millions of viewers watching live. The crowd was dead silent. Chris responded, “Will Smith just slapped the sh*t out of me!”.
Will made his way back to the seat next to his wife but the drama didn’t end there. He screamed from his seat, “Keep my wife’s name out your f**ing mouth”. Rock seemed to try and de-escalate the situation and was genuinely confused by the harsh reaction to what he thought was a pretty tame joke.
The Aftermath of "Slapgate"
The internet errupted into chaos as soon as everyone recovered from the initial shock of the moment. Some people stood by the Smiths, maintaining that Will was in the right for defending his wife. Others argued that it was completely out of line to lay hands on someone, let alone on live television.
After lots of back and forth on the internet, and plenty of internet memes, the dust settled and everyone waited in anticipation for Chris Rock’s response. Naturally, the comedian would have some choice words, right? He waited an entire year to speak out.
Chris Rock's Response
Well, almost exactly a year later, Chris Rock finally decided to speak out on that insane night at the Oscars in 2022. He made a comedy special called “Selective Outrage” which included a rant targeted directly at the Smiths. He did not shy away from addressing the Smiths directly.
Rock made a joke about the fact that when he hosted the award show in 2016 there was talk of Will being nominated for a film he did called Concussion. He never ended up landing on the list of nominees but Chris quipped that Smith gave him a concussion instead.
He directly addressed the slap by saying he “took that hit” like former professional boxer Manny Pacquiao. Naturally, the internet has exploded with thousands of responses to the rant.
Most people are happy that the comedian finally responded but of course opinions are divided on the “best way” to handle the fallout. Regardless, it appears Rock handled it the way most people thought a comedian would: with comedy.
Closure on the Infamous Slap
Now that both parties have said their piece it appears there isn’t much left to say, although people are naturally curious to see if Will and Jada will come forward with commentary in response to the special.
The academy did ban Will from the awards show for 10 years, meaning he will not follow tradition in presenting the Best Actress award in the 2023 show. We all eagerly await to see if Will or Jada chime in on the special.