A year after Oscars 2022 and just in time for Oscars 2023, Chris Rock has finally spoken out about the incident when Will Smith slapped him on stage of the 94th Academy Awards ceremony. In a stand-up special at Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre on Saturday, Chris took a dig at Smith and added that he is not a victim of the infamous ‘slapgate’. Chris headlined Netflix's first-ever live-streamed event, a comedy special called 'Chris Rock: Selective Outrage' — a title he revealed to be a connection to Smith.
Afte Chris made a joke about the appearance of Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith (her hair in particular as Jada suffers from a hair loss condition called Alopecia), Smith slapped him onstage and on live television. Smith, who won the Best Actor Award for King Richard that night, later apologized to the Academy for his behaviour. However, the Academy banned him for a decade but did not reprimand Chris whose joke many netizens felt was in bad taste.
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The comedian addressed people asking him about the slap and why he didn’t do anything about it and said, “’Why didn’t you do anything back?’ Cause I got parents. Cause I was raised. And you know what my parents taught me? Don’t fight in front of white people. Will Smith practices selective outrage. Outrage because everybody knows what the f**k happened. Everybody that really knows, knows that I have nothing to do with that s**t. I didn’t have any entanglements.”
He referred to Jada’s affair with singer August Alsina and said that he did reach out to Smith after getting to know about Jada and his falling out but his call was never received by the actor. He alleged that the entire world was talking negative things about Jada and went on to name a few celebrities as well. However, Chris claimed that Smith punched him because he could, hence the ‘selective outrage’.
He continued and said, “You know what people say, they say, ‘words hurt.’ Anybody that say words hurt has never been punched in the face. But I’m not a victim, baby. You’ll never see me on Oprah or Gayle crying,” Rock insisted. He joked that he “took that s**t like (Manny) Pacquaio (former professional boxer).”
This year’s Oscar ceremony will take place on March 13 at 5.30 am IST and will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.