For the first time, Chris Rock has spoken openly about what happened during the 2022 Oscars.
He did it during Selective Outrage , a live show that aired on Netflix on Saturday nights. Recall that Will Smith apologized on more than one occasion for what happened, that Night of the Oscars, which cost him a good chunk of his reputation despite seeing him as a winner.
However, Rock had never spoken about it openly and when he decided to do so he used the weapon of irony:
Everyone knows what happened a year ago. People ask me “Did it hurt you?”. She still hurts me! I still hear the song “Summertime” in my ears. But I’m not a victim, you will never see me on Oprah crying about what happened, it will never happen. People ask me why I didn’t react, maybe he can’t be seen in the camera but Will Smith is much older than me. He makes movies with his shirt off, you guys will never see me shirtless! If I had to have open heart surgery in a movie, I’d wear a sweater!
In his monologue, Rock also opened up about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett ‘s affair with young rapper August Alsina, which once it became public knowledge prompted the pair to admit they were in an open relationship. According to the comedian, it would not have been the joke made during the Night of the Oscars that unleashed the wrath of Smith, he would have just been chosen to vent a lot of pent-up anger.
Referring to the film Emancipation , in which Smith played a runaway slave, he added:
I love Will Smith. I was always rooting for him! Now I watch Emancipation only to see it whipped.
Rock concluded the live show by explaining why he chose not to react:
I have parents! And do you know what they taught me? Not to fight in front of white people.
For those who missed it, here’s a thread of Chris Rock finally speaking his peace about the Will Smith Oscars slap nearly 1 year later. #ChrisRock #ChrisRockNetflix #ChrisRockLive #ChrisRockSelectiveOutrage pic.twitter.com/Ad05ofvAwR
— All the Latest Entertainment (@AlltheLatestENT) March 5, 2023